update deskIsrael at War

Two IDF soldiers die of wounds from Samaria terror attack

One soldier was also killed in action in northern Gaza, according to the military.

Staff Sgt. Diego Shvisha Harsaj, 20, from Tel Aviv, left, and Staff Sgt. Eliya Hilel, 20, from Tel Zion. Credit: IDF.
Staff Sgt. Diego Shvisha Harsaj, 20, from Tel Aviv, left, and Staff Sgt. Eliya Hilel, 20, from Tel Zion. Credit: IDF.

Two Israeli soldiers have died after being seriously wounded in a terrorist vehicular assault near the city of Nablus (Shechem) in Samaria on Wednesday night, the Israel Defense Forces said on Thursday morning,

They were identified as Staff Sgt. Eliya Hilel, 20, from Tel Zion, and Staff Sgt. Diego Shvisha Harsaj, 20, from Tel Aviv.

Both belonged to the Kfir Brigade’s Nahshon Battalion.

Separately, the IDF announced the death of Staff Sgt. Yedidya Azugi, 21, from Revava in Samaria, who was killed in battle in the northern Gaza Strip. Azugi was a soldier in the Paratrooper Brigade’s 101st Battalion.

Staff Sgt. Yedidya Azugi, 21, from Revava in Samaria. Credit: IDF.

Their deaths bring the IDF’s death toll on all fronts since the start of the war on Oct. 7 to 642; Azugi’s death raises the death toll in Gaza since the start of the Gaza ground invasion on Oct. 27 to 291.

Gen. Yehuda Fox, head of the IDF’s Central Command, conducted a situational assessment at the scene of the Samaria attack on Thursday morning. He was joined by commanders and soldiers operating in the area.

On Wednesday night, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi was at the scene of the attack for an initial inquiry and initial assessment.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi at the scene of of a terrorist attack on IDF troops near Nablus (Shechem) in Samaria, May 29, 2024. Credit: IDF.

The terrorist managed to escape and flee towards Nablus, before turning himself in to Palestinian Authority police, the Kan News public broadcaster reported, adding that he had yet to be transferred to IDF custody.

According to the Hatzalah Judea and Samaria (Rescuers Without Borders) emergency response group, the attack took place between the Hatmar Shomron Junction and the Israeli community of Itamar.

Following the attack, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan demanded that the IDF restore security checkpoints and roadblocks near Palestinian terrorist hotspots like Nablus.

‘Terrorism must be eradicated everywhere’

“It can’t be that an attacker is able to appear from and then return to the Palestinian Authority without hindrance,” said Dagan according to Israel’s Channel 12 News.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich urged immediate government action after Palestinian terrorists fired on central Israel from northern Samaria for the second time this week.

“Terrorism must be eradicated everywhere, even if it means Tulkarem [in Samaria] will look like Gaza looks today,” tweeted Smotrich, who oversees civilian issues in Judea and Samaria in the Defense Ministry.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, per IDF data.

Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 15, Rescuers Without Borders first responders recorded more than 2,600 Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis in Judea and Samaria, including 760 cases of rock-throwing, 551 fire bombings, 12 attempted or successful stabbings and nine vehicular assaults.

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