Update: It has been cleared for release that the second victim in today’s Gush Etzion terrorist attack is 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz hyd of Sharon, MA. His family was notified of the horrific news a short while after the attack.
Ezra is a student at Yeshiva Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh.
An Uzi-wielding terrorist killed three people, one of them Palestinian, and wounded several in a shooting attack at two scenes in Gush Etzion in the West Bank on Thursday.
The dead were a 18-year-old American citizen, a 50-year-old Israeli, and a Palestinian in his forties. All were killed by the terrorist and were in different vehicles. Security forces overpowered the attacker, halting the assault. Five people were lightly wounded.
According to a preliminary investigation, a lone terrorist arrived in his car at the road leading from Alon Shvut to Gush Etzion junction. He noticed a traffic jam and began to bypass vehicles – and then opened fire at cars stuck in traffic.
The terrorist continued but hit another car and could not continue the shooting spree. Security forces wounded the terrorist and took him into custody.
The terrorist was Abed al Basset Harub from Dir Samat near Hebron, according to Palestinian sources.
The Palestinian killed by the terrorist was named as Shadi Arafa.
Five of the injured victims were American yeshiva students attending a Beit Shemesh yeshiva. They were evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital.
Yuval Lasri, who overpowered the terrorist, said: “I stood in the traffic jam and heard gunfire. The terrorist rammed a car behind me. I got out of my car, pushed his gun away and threw him on the ground. I didn’t shoot at him because I wasn’t sure that he was the terrorist, but then I saw the gun next to him and understood that he was.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the attack saying, “The murderous terror has struck Gush Etzion and Tel Aviv. My heart is with the families of the murdered and I send my wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.
“Whoever condemned the attacks in France needs to condemn the attacks in Israel. It’s the same terror. Whoever does not do this is a hypocrite and blind,” the prime minister concluded.
The shooting occurred two hours after a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree in Tel Aviv, killing two Israelis.