One Day After Shooting, IDF Still Has No Leads on West Bank Terror Attack

IDF forces sweep area around village of Deir Ibzi’a, pointed out as a possible escape route by the Israeli day-tripper man who survived the attack.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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IDF soldiers sweeping area near settlement of Dolev, where a shooting took place. June 20, 2015.
IDF soldiers sweeping area near settlement of Dolev, where a shooting took place. June 20, 2015.Credit: AP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Twenty four hours after the shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Dolev, military forces sweeping the area have established no solid leads that could point them toward the perpetrator of Friday’s attack, which left one Israeli civilian dead and another lightly wounded. The IDF has yet to ascertain a clear direction pointing to a support network which might have aided the shooter, according to an officer stationed in the Judea and Samaria division.

At this point, the military's assessment is that there is a good chance the attacker is linked to Hamas - but other possibilities are being investigated, including the scenario that he was acting alone, with no organizational backing.

On Friday and Saturday, army forces swept the area around the village of Deir Ibzi’a, as well as other locations. The village was pointed out on a map as a possible escape route the attacker might have taken by the man who survived the attack. Artillery forces stationed nearby, as well as soldiers from the special forces Duvdevan unit, took part in the search. Several Palestinians were questioned, but no suspects have been arrested. The officer noted that efforts to locate the attacker are now being focusing on intelligence gathering, by the Shin Bet and other intelligence organizations.

A group with ties to Hamas' military wing took responsibility Friday for the terror attack that left Danny Gonen, a 25-year-old Israeli, dead and wounded another Israeli in his 20s.

The attack took place near the Ein Buvin spring, close to the settlement of Dolev in the Ramallah area. Visits to the spring by Israelis need to be coordinated with the Israeli army, which provides security if the visit is approved. The two men did not coordinate their visit, an army spokesman said.

Both of the victims, two male residents of central Israel in their twenties who were travelling in the area, were in a motor vehicle at the time of the shooting. The deceased was initially critically wounded, while the second victim, who was shot in the leg, was lightly wounded.

According to the initial investigation, the two phoned a friend in Dolev after arriving at the spring to say that they intended to leave the place because of the number of Palestinians there. While returning to the Haparsa Junction, they were stopped by a Palestinian who asked them if there was water in the spring. During the conversation, the man took a pistol out of a bag and shot the two men, before fleeing.

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