Arab terrorists murder two Israelis at gas station in Samaria

Arab terrorists open fire at entrance to Israeli town in Samaria, leaving two fatally wounded.

By World Israel News and JNS

A terrorist shot and killed two Israelis on Thursday afternoon at a gas station outside the town of Eli in the Binyamin region of Samaria, first responders and the Israel Defense Forces said.

“A terrorist arrived at the Eli gas station in the Binyamin Brigade” deployment area “and opened fire,” the IDF posted on social media, in Hebrew. “The terrorist was eliminated.”

The victims were identified as Yitzchak Zeiger, a 57-year-old father of three and grandfather of two from Shavei Shomron in northern Samaria, and Uria Hartum, a 16-year-old high-schooler from Dolev who had hitched a ride with Zeiger.

Aviad Gizbar, owner of a hummus restaurant at the gas station, neutralized the terrorist, whom Arab media named as Muhammad Manasra. The latter, of Qalandiya near Jerusalem, reportedly served as a police officer in the Palestinian Authority.

The IDF Homefront Command briefly called on residents of Eli to stay inside and close doors and windows as forces searched for additional suspects.

“This is a serious attack. After the attack a year ago at the Eli gas station, another attack took place there,” Eli Mayor Ariel Elmaliach told Arutz Sheva, adding, “Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall.”

Four Israelis were killed at the Eli gas station on June 20, 2023, when two Hamas terrorists opened fire on diners at a restaurant there.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in terrorist attacks in recent months, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, according to IDF data.

“When we arrived at the location of the incident, the scene was extremely difficult,” said Eitan Freedman, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT.

“Unfortunately, two people had to be pronounced dead at the scene due to the severity of the injuries they sustained,” Freedman said. “Members of United Hatzalah’s psycho-trauma and crisis response unit treated a number of people for emotional shock due to the nature of the incident.”

Shortly after the attack, Shlomo Ne’eman, the mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and Chairman of the Yesha Council – the umbrella group representing Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria –  released a statement accusing the Palestinian Authority of “waging a war” on Israelis in the area.

“Once again, a very serious attack, and once again the Jews have been targeted. At this difficult time, we embrace the families of the slain and demand the reverse effect in Judea and Samaria.”

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“The Palestinian Authority is waging a war against us, and we have to act with force to eliminate all threats throughout Judea and Samaria. The State of Israel and the rest of the world need to understand that there is no difference between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas terrorists. Whoever did not condemn the pogrom on Simchat Torah, whoever finances the families of the terrorists who carried out the attack, has no right to exist.”