Palestinians Ambushed Car in Deadly West Bank Attack, Fired at Least 10 Shots, Israeli Military Says

Shooting near settler outpost killed 25-year-old Israeli Yehuda Dimentman ■ Authorities search for perpetrators, who fled after opening fire at car

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A first responder examines the car that was attacked in the shooting near Homesh, Thursday.
A first responder examines the car that was attacked in the shooting near Homesh, Thursday.Credit: ZAKA

The fatal shooting attack in the West Bank on Thursday was an ambush in which the attackers laid in wait on the side of the road, the commander of the Israeli military's Judea and Samaria Division said.

Brig. Gen. Avi Blut said the military plans to boost forces in the West Bank with three infantry battalions, as well as special forces units.

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Over 10 bullets were fired at a car during the attack near Homesh, which killed 25-year-old Yehuda Dimentman and wounded two other people. The  perpetrators fled the scene, Blut said.  

One of the two passengers wounded in the attack said that after leaving Homesh, "all of a sudden we heard a volley of bullets... Someone behind me was yelling that he was hit."

Dimentman "was my friend, he was a really good guy," he added. "We never feared a shooting incident. We didn't think it would happen."

Yehuda Dimentman

Homesh, near where Thursday's attack took place, had its residents evicted as part of Israel's 2005 disengagement plan, and Israelis are banned from staying within its bounds. However, settlers frequent the spot and operate the Homesh Yeshiva, which in practice serves as an outpost, with yeshiva students moving between it and the nearest settlement, Shavei Shomron. Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, has regularly voiced support for the yeshiva, and on Thursday, after the attack, he called for legalizing it.

Last month, Palestinians from the village of Burka were attacked by Israeli settlers while trying to work their land at the entrance to Homesh. Three of them were hit with rocks, sticks, and fists, and evacuated to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus with light head wounds. Video footage distributed by the Shomron Regional Council of settlements also showed Palestinians throwing rocks at settlers.

Condemning "Palestinian terror," Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev sent condolences to the family of the victim, who he said was a yeshiva student. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed that security forces would capture the perpetrators. 

Thursday's shooting came amid an uptick in violent attacks by Palestinians. Last week, a 14-year-old teen from East Jerusalem stabbed a 26-year-old Jewish resident of Sheikh Jarrah, a flash point neighborhood whose Palestinian residents face eviction orders.

Two days earlier a 16-year-old Palestinian crashed his car into a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Tul Karm, wounding an Israeli guard. The Palestinian teen was shot dead.

Three other attacks over the past weeks, all in Jerusalem, saw an Israeli man, 25-year-old Eliyahu Kay, shot dead, and two Border Police officers wounded. In all three cases, the Palestinian assailants were shot dead.

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