As the Israeli military continued with the manhunt for the perpetrator of Sunday’s shooting attack which left two teenagers in critical condition, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi visited the scene and held a situational assessment with senior officers.
Kohavi was accompanied with the Head of Central Commander Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yadai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Rassan Aliyan and held a situational assessment with the Head of the Judea and Samaria Division Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Aluf where he assessed the deployment of additional forces in the area in light of recent events.
“The IDF will increase its forces and expand its operational activities in recent weeks in Judea and Samaria as part of its readiness for escalation,” Kohavi said at the end of the visit. “Many forces, with the help of intelligence officials and the Shin Bet have been working since yesterday to find the terrorists, and will continue to do so until the mission is completed.”
Israeli security forces have been continuing their efforts to locate and apprehend the attacker responsible for the drive-by shooting attack at the Tapuach Junction that targeted Israeli civilians standing at a bus stop and popular hitchhiking spot on Route 60.
Security camera footage of the attack showed an SUV driving up to the bus stop, slowing down and braking before someone inside opens fire. The video shows how people at the scene ducked for cover and the car then speeds off as troops run to the scene.
Soldiers guarding the junction responded with gunfire, but the vehicle escaped in the direction of Ramallah. The initial investigation presented to Kohavi during his visit to the scene found that the attacker likely acted alone. He drove the car and fired 10 bullets towards the bus stop before fleeing the scene. Three Givati soldiers fired seven bullets towards the car, hitting it but not the attacker.
Three teenagers were all evacuated to Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Nineteen-year-old Yehuda Guetta, a resident of Jerusalem, is still listed in critical condition with a head wound. A second victim, 19 year-old Benaya Peretz of Beit Shean, remains in very serious condition with a back wound.The third victim, 19 year-old Amichai Hala from Safed, was lightly wounded in the attack and has been discharged from the hospital.
The IDF sent reinforcements to the area and carried out raids in the West Bank near the attack overnight.
Violent clashes broke out in the village of Beita in which Palestinians threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the troops, who responded with riot dispersal methods and live fire. The IDF said that they had heard of Palestinian injuries.
“The IDF will continue to act as required in all sectors in order to ensure the security of Israeli citizens,” Kohavi vowed during his visit on Monday.
The Tapuah Junction shooting was the second attack of the day. In the morning, a 60-year old Palestinian woman attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.
A video of the scene showed a standoff between her and two soldiers. She advanced toward them, wearing a traditional black Palestinian dress and a black head covering, with a blue mask. A black bag was strapped over one shoulder and with the other hand, she appeared to hold a knife.
Two soldiers faced her with their guns drawn, wearing flak jackets and vests. They walked backward yelling at her to stop and put down the knife and she walked forward for a few moments, before they shot and critically injured her.
The Palestinian woman was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she later died of her wounds.