Nine-year-old Girl Hurt in Settlement Terror Attack; IDF: Suspect Got Away

Israel Defense Forces finds suspect's escape route from Psagot settlement in the West Bank; girl in stable condition.

A nine-year old girl was wounded Saturday evening in a terror attack in the Israeli settlement of Psagot, north of Jerusalem in the West Bank. After searching the area throughout the night and Sunday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said the suspect was no longer in the settlement.

According to Magen David Adom rescue services, the girl was wounded at around 9 P.M. when she was shot in the chest. She remained conscious and was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem.

The Israel Defense Forces initially said they found evidence of a break-in in the fence surrounding the settlement. The IDF search of the area later found the suspect's escape route and what they thought was an improvised weapon. After further investigation, it turned out that this was not in fact a weapon. A breach in the settlement's fence was said to be fixed by military engineering soldiers on Sunday. The army was verifying whether this was the weapon used in the attack. Military sources said the investigation was focusing on intelligence. 

Initial findings indicate the girl was hit by one bullet shot toward her. The motivation for the shooting was not immediately clear.

Dr. Danny Fink, who treated the girl, described her condition as stable and said her life was not in danger. Her condition was initially said to be serious, but hospital officials later revised their assessment to "light." 

The girl lives in a house at the edge of Psagot, just a few hundred meters from the Palestinian town El Bireh, near Ramallah. Palestinian media reported that two Palestinians were wounded overnight in Israeli army raids in El Bireh following the shooting.

According to initial reports, she was standing on the balcony of her home at the time of the shooting, and told MDA that she saw somebody fire at her. There were no other casualties reported.

Residents of Psagot were asked to remain in their homes while Israel Defense Forces surveyed the area. 

Ya’akov Berg, a Psagot resident, told Haaretz: “I was not at home when the incident happened and I rushed home to protect my family. For many years our security situation was terrible and this [incident] doesn’t get us worked up. No coward who shoots at a nine-year-old girl in the middle of the night is going to discourage us.”

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About two weeks ago, an Israeli soldier was killed in a shooting attack near the West Bank city of Hebron. The victim was named as Staff Sergeant Gal (Gabriel) Kobi, 20, of Tirat Hacarmel.

That shooting occurred a day after 20-year-old IDF soldier Tomer Hazan was founded murdered in the West Bank city of Qalqilyah.

Emil Salman
Lior Mizrahi