Three Israelis were wounded in two shooting attacks in less than two hours in Hebron on Friday.
In the first attack, a 16-year-old male was moderately wounded and an 18-year-old male was lightly wounded when they were shot at near the Cave of the Patriarchs at 4:45 P.M. The shooter fled the scene, and a manhunt was underway. The shooter apparently opened fire from a distance. The Israeli army believes he may have been a sniper.
Less than two hours later, an Israeli soldier was seriously wounded by gunfire near Beit Anoun.
Thousands of Jewish worshippers were in the city on occasion of the weekly Torah portion, Parashat Chayei Sarah, which refers to the matriarch Sarah, whose tomb is located in the Cave of the Patriachs. Large army forces were deployed around Hebron.
The shootings came after two attacks in the West Bank. An Israeli man was seriously wounded after allegedly being stabbed by a Palestinian in an industrial park near Ramallah in the West Bank on Friday. The IDF is looking for the suspected assailant, who fled the scene.
The incident came minutes after a suspected attack against Israeli soldiers was foiled near Hebron when forces shot the driver of a car which the military said attempted run them over.
The alleged car-ramming incident took place in in the southern West Bank in Halhul, north of Hebron, where a stabbing attack took place on Wednesday. According to the army, a female Palestinian attempted to ram her car into a group of soldiers but was shot beforehand. She was evacuated to an Israeli hospital and later died of her wounds. The Palestinian news agency Wafa identified the driver as 72-year-old Sarwat al-Shawari.
Hebron, which has been named by Palestinian factions "the capital of Palestinian rage," has become the epicenter of the terror wave in recent weeks. On Wednesday a Border Police officer was critically wounded when a Palestinian driver rammed his car into him in Halhul Junction near the city. The driver was shot dead. A week ago, another assailant was shot dead after stabbing a soldier, lightly wounding him near Hebron.
Following a slew of terror attacks in Hebron, the regional brigade commander on Thursday has prohibited male Palestinians between the ages of 15 and 25 from passing through the checkpoints into the Jewish settlement there, with the exception of local residents and students at the nearby school, who will be diverted to a single checkpoint.
Until now, individuals who do not live in the area who wished to go through the checkpoints were subject to full security checks, but now they will not be allowed into the settlement area at all. In addition, all stores in the area will be closed until further notice. According to one army source, the large number of attacks, 14 stabbings or attempted stabbings that ended in the attacker being killed, necessitates a response from the troops on the ground.
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