Skip to comments.One soldier killed, 3 wounded in shooting attack near Nablus
Posted on 01/08/2005 12:43:35 AM PST by miltonim
A soldier was killed and three were wounded on Friday afternoon when three Palestinian gunmen fired at an Israeli car traveling between the Tapuah and Migdalim Junctions near Nablus on the West Bank, Judea and Samaria Police said.
The soldier, who suffered critical wounds, died of his wounds at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. Another soldier remains in serious condition and the other two are recovering from moderate wounds, Nir Yiffet, a Magen David Adom paramedic told the Jerusalem Post.
The four, who were on their way to the Ma'aleh Ephraim Paramilitary School from which they had graduated before their service, were wearing civilian clothing yet had their guns with them. They had planned to spend Shabbat at the school.
Yiffet said that paramedics who arrived at the scene shortly after 3:30 p.m. tried to stabilize the condition of the critically and seriously wounded soldiers before they were taken to hospital.
When MDA paramedics arrived at the scene, two soldiers in the car were in serious to critical condition and were both unconscious suffering gunshot wounds to the head. Two others, who were moderately wounded, suffered wounds to the lower limbs.
"When we got to the site the wounded had been taken out of the car and were being treated. We put them in the ambulances and continued treating them as we drove to Beilinson Hospital."
Interim head of the Palestine Liberation Organization Mahmoud Abbas criticized the attack. "There is no justification for this operation, but there are a lot of reasons behind it," he said at a news conference, his last official event before Sunday's Palestinian presidential elections, which he is predicted to win easily.
Terrorists belonging to the Aksa Martyrs' Brigade, Fatah's armed wing, claimed responsibility for the attack, AP reported.
Police said the gunmen fired at the car just after 3:30 p.m. from the hilltops near the Tapuah Junction, four kilometers from the settlement of Migdalim.
Two Palestinians carried out Friday's attack, IDF officials said. The perpetrators arrived close to the scene of the attack in a car, which they parked near Otzarin, east of the Tapuah junction. They walked to a hill, overlooking the road on which the Israeli car was traveling, on which they took up positions.
One moderately wounded soldier fired on the perpetrators from inside the car yet failed to hit them.
Shortly after the attack, the perpetrators spotted a second Israeli car approaching. They opened fire on the car lightly wounding its only passenger who rushed to the nearest IDF post and informed troops of the attack.
The IDF conducted searches in areas close to the scene of the attack yet could not locate the perpetrators. A curfew has been imposed on Otzarin and villages in the area. Security officials said that the investigation will now focus on intelligence gathering.
The attack occurs as IDF forces are winding down their presence in the West Bank in preparation for the election for the Palestinian Authority chairmanship on Sunday.
Two of the wounded were treated at a helicopter pad near Tapuah and airlifted to Beilinson and Tel Hashomer hospitals.
Meanwhile, an IDF soldier was lightly wounded by Palestinian stone throwers near Beit Omar north of Hebron earlier Friday.
The soldier was taken to Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.
On Friday morning, ten mortar shells were fired into the western Negev and Israeli settlements in central and southern Gaza . No one was wounded in any of the incidents but damage was caused to several houses.
A mortar exploded in an open area in the western Negev causing no damage, but in one Gush Katif settlement, a house suffered a direct hit from a mortar shell. Two other mortar shells damaged a house and a car. However, no one was wounded. A bomb was detonated near soldiers deployed close to Rafah, and there too, no one was wounded in the attack.
With less then 48 hours to go until thousands of Palestinians participate in elections, security forces continue raids in West Bank villages and towns, arresting wanted Palestinian fugitives.
Six fugitives were apprehended, found in Arabe, southwest of Jenin, in Beit Likya, east of Ramallah, in a village south of Bethlehem, in Hebron and in Tarkumiya, southwest of the city.