Israel Defence Forces are conducting a manhunt after two IDF soldiers were killed and two seriously wounded in a terror attack in the West Bank yesterday.
Corporal Yosef Cohen, 19 from Beit Shemesh, and Sergeant Yovel Moryosef, 20 from Ashkelon, served in the Kfir Brigade.
Both were posthumously promoted, to Sergeant and Corporal respectively.
The surviving victims are being treated at in Jerusalem at Shaare Zedek and the other to Hadassah Ein Karem in Jerusalem. All four victims were in their 20s.
An IDF spokesman said the gunman opened fire on soldiers and civilians at a bus stop at the Asaf Junction after exiting a vehicle then fled the scene in a statement.
“We are continuing our counter-terrorism activities, including securing the area and searching for the attackers from both incidents,” the army said.
The army has called up troops and closed the area through to Ramallah.
The drive-by shooting was 5km from Ofra and was the latest in a wave of attacks on Israeli citizens in recent days.
It came hours after two Border Police officers were hurt in a stabbing incident in Jerusalem’s Old City when a terrorist tried to stab a man walking in the direction of Damascus Gate.
As the attacker then tried to stab the officers, one of them managed to shoot and kill the 26-year-old terrorist, a West Bank resident.
Both incidents came hours after Counter-terrorism Police killed a Palestinian suspected of involvement in a horrific terror attack when a baby died and six Israelis were injured near Ofra on Sunday.
Another Palestinian suspect was injured and taken to hospital.
The two men were named as Saleh and Awad Barghouti from Kobar.
Security forces arrested during the manhunt a number of Palestinians suspected of involvement in the terror attack.
Tragically, doctors were unable to save the life of a baby boy born prematurely following the Ofra attack.
21-year-old Shira Ish-Ran was 30 weeks pregnant when she had an emergency c-section after receiving serious injuries. Her husband, Amichai, was lightly wounded in the legs.
The couple, who were reunited on Tuesday and visited their son hours before he passed away, remain at Sha’arei Tzedek in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the Ofra attack as “monstrous” and accused the Palestinian Authority of inciting violence against Israelis.
He condemned the shooting and vowed to “hunt down” and make those responsible pay for the attack.
“We will deal with them to the fullest extent of the law and settle accounts with them,” he said.
“We will not rest until we find these murderous criminals and bring them to justice.”
The group of Israelis were participating in a candle-lighting ceremony in memory of a car accident victim at a bus stop when Palestinian terrorist fired at them.
IDF troops were stationed nearby and fired at the vehicle, but the driver escaped the scene of the attack.
Troops raided Palestinian news agency WAFA offices, seizing security camera footage.
“Extensive searches” also took place in villages near the attack.
Netanyahu said the terrorists were trying to remove Israel from the West Bank but Israel would strengthen its ties in the region.
Around 600,000 Jews live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“As long as I am Prime Minister, not one Jew will be uprooted from his home,” he said. “Not only will they not be uprooted from their homes, they will build more homes.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called on Netanyahu to “immediately annex” Ofra and grant it regular settlement status.
Jason Greenblatt US Middle East envoy described the attack as “absolutely disgusting”.
Yossi Dagan, Samaria Regional Council implored Netanyahu to retaliate against the Palestinian Authority and carry out an operation in the suspects’ hometown.
“We have to deal with these murderous terrorists the same way we dealt with them as a small country,” he said in a statement. “Now that we are a big and powerful country, we are losing our deterrence, which brings about one attack after the other.”
The Yesha Council, which represents Jewish settlements in the West Bank, called on Netanyahu to strengthen settlements’ security, construction and regulation.
In another attack, security forces killed a Palestinian terrorist, Omar Hassan al-Awawdeh, attempting a car-ramming attack near Hebron in the West Bank on Tuesday.
Counter-terrorism police killed a suspected terrorist and wounded another in an exchange of fire on Wednesday.
Two days after the Ofra attack, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian terrorist attempting a car-ramming attack near Hebron in the West Bank.
Omar Hassan al-Awawdeh drove through a checkpoint, hit a security vehicle before accelerating towards a Police officer when he was fatally shot, according to Border Police.
No Israeli forces were injured in the incident, and the 27-year-old terrorist was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the death.
And in a yet another incident shortly after during an ICA operation in Al-Jiftlik, a Palestinian terrorist was wounded after accelerating towards in a vehicle in the Jordan Rift Valley.
Amidst these attacks, security forces finally tracked down Ashraf Na’alwa, who murdered Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hagbi at the Barkan Industrial area two months ago.
Counter-terrorism police tracked him to a house in Nablusin the early hours of Thursday morning.
Security forces discovered that Na’alwa, who died after a brief exchange of fire, had switched hiding places and was planning another terror attack.
Israeli forces were not injured and arrested a Palestinian suspected of aiding Na’alwa’s escape.
Kim’s father, Rafi, told reporters that Na’alwa deserved to die because his daughter was executed in the terror attack.
Shahar, Kim’s sister, described Na’alwa as a despicable terrorist.
“It’s a shame it took so long,” she told reporters. “And it’s a shame deterrence actions have not yet been taken, such as demolishing his home and expelling his family.”
Ziv’s father, was relieved his son’s murderer was no longer alive.
“Our fear was that he would be caught alive and then we would have to deal with him at court,” he told reporters.