Massive manhunt underway for West Bank gunman who killed 2, wounded 1

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The Israel Defense Forces launched a massive manhunt in pursuit of a terrorist now identified as Amar Abu Leilah, 20, from the Arab village of Zevayah near the Jewish city of Ariel, where the attack began.

IDF soldiers, security agents of Israel’s Shin Bet and border police surveyed the terrorist’s home for possible demolition, arrested his brother Nur, 16, and interrogated his father.

Wanted terrorist Amar Abu Leilah (Courtesy)

On Sunday, Leilah killed two Jews in a shooting that took place in two locations. He began his attack at the Ariel junction. In video footage, the terrorist can be seen coming from one of the illegal shops that have sprung up along the side of the road opposite Ariel.

He is seen walking slowly along the side of the road and then breaking into a sprint toward a hitch-hiking post.

At the post, he attacked his first victim, stabbing 19-year-old IDF soldier Gal Qeidan and stealing his rifle. He then shot Qeidan at point-blank range. Two soldiers guarding the hitch-hiking post opened fire at the terrorist but were unable to stop him, though they may have wounded him, according to reports.

The terrorist then opened fire at civilians at the junction using Qeidan’s rifle, including Rabbi Ahiad Etinger, who was pronounced dead from bullet wounds to his head on Monday morning. Etinger, who was armed, attempted to shoot the terrorist, but could not draw in time, reports say. He leaves behind a wife and 12 children.

“We are in the midst of pursuing these terrorists,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I am sure they will be captured and brought to justice, just as others who committed similar attacks.”

Security forces at the scene of the attack (Photo: Yariv Katz)
Security forces at the scene of the attack (Photo: Yariv Katz)

The terrorist then stole a car and went to another junction where he opened fire and seriously wounded IDF soldier Alexander Dubrovsky.

Dubrosky remains in serious condition after an operation overnight at Beilinson hospital in Petach Tikvah near Tel Aviv. His life is still in danger.

IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office)
IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Office)

“I saw the terrorist,” the driver of the stolen car told Ynet. “He opened fire at my vehicle and I fled while the engine was still running.”

The car stolen and abandoned by the gunman (Photo: AFP)
The car stolen and abandoned by the gunman (Photo: AFP)

The attacker abandoned the stolen vehicle near the Palestinian village of Bruchin. Palestinians in the area were reportedly encouraged to take down security cameras in order to make the hunt for the gunman more difficult.

Security forces then began checks of every vehicle driving on the road, fearing that the gunman would try to reach central Israel in another vehicle.

IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office)
IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Office)

Israel deployed a large number of security forces to the area in the wake of the attack, including Border Police special forces. The IDF also placed heavy machinery at the entrance to Burchin, including bulldozers.

“I was passing the Ariel Junction in a car when I heard gunfire and saw soldiers running,” said Magen David Adom paramedic Hanannel Hass. “When the gunfire stopped, I got out of the car and saw a young man lying unconscious with gunshot wounds to his upper body.”

Originally posted at YNet News.


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