Terrorists fired on three occasions at Israeli vehicles on Monday, killing a dual American-Israeli man and then set the cars on fire that evening. The attacks took place near the town of Jericho near the Beit Ha’arava Junction.
Writing on Twitter, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides revealed that the victim was also an American citizen.
“Sadly, I can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in one of the terror attacks in the West Bank tonight,” wrote Nides. “I pray for his family.”
Volunteers from United Hatzalah and Magen David Adom treated the victim, who was in his mid-20s and in cardiac arrest when officials arrived. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was pronounced dead. No additional injuries were reported.
Later in the day, Young Israel of West Hartford, Conn., reported that the deceased was Elan Ganeles, 27, of West Hartford. The synagogue also noted that the funeral will take place in Israel and that the family will return home to sit shiva.
Israel Police exchanged fire with the terrorists, who fled the scene. Authorities have put up roadblocks and checkpoints, and are searching for the attackers.
According to the Kan News public broadcaster, the gunmen at some stage set their car on fire and continued on foot into Jericho, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli security forces earlier this month arrested a terrorist cell responsible for an attempted mass shooting at a restaurant near Jericho, close to where Monday’s attack took place.
On Jan. 28, two men armed with an assault rifle and bulletproof vests approached the Me Casa Restaurant near the Israeli town of Vered Yericho, but managed to fire only a single shot before their weapon jammed.
Earlier Monday, brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, killed in a terror attack in Samaria the previous day, were laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Hallel, 21, and Yagel, 19, were shot at point-blank range by a Palestinian terrorist as they drove through the village of Huwara near where they lived.
“There are no words to describe such a disaster,” said Esti Yaniv, the victims’ mother. “Instead of taking children to the [marriage] chuppah, we bury them.”
The brothers’ father, Shalom, said, “I really beg and plead that this will be the last such incident, and that all the children will be able to get married and have children and live happily and peacefully.”