An Israeli father of six was killed on Tuesday evening in a drive-by shooting close to the West Bank city of Nablus.
The Israeli military said that the 35-year-old victim was driving on Route 60, the main highway in the West Bank, when his vehicle was apparently targeted by gunmen in a passing car.
After the shooting security forces swept the area adjacent to the West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad. The man was identified as Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a resident of the outpost.
Shevach's funeral has now begun at Havat Gilad and started with a procession from it's synagogue. He will be buried in an area near the outpost.
His widow, Yael Shevach, said it was always his wish to be buried in the settlement outpost that he and his family called home
Military roadblocks have been set up on roads leading into and out of Nablus as security forces attempt to locate the attackers.
Shevach was critically wounded in the shooting and was taken to hospital, were he was pronounced dead after resuscitation attempts failed.
Dr. Guy Elad, a doctor at the Meir Medical Center, said that Shevach "arrived at the hospital without a pulse, with no breath and no life signals. He was rushed to the trauma room, where advanced resuscitation actions were performed and unfortunately despite our efforts his death was [eventually] determined."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the news of the shooting on Tuesday night. "I am expressing my deep sorrow and sending condolences to the family of Raziel Shevach, who was murdered tonight by a despicable terrorist," he stated.
"Security forces will do everything possible to reach the contemptible murderer and the State of Israel will bring him to justice," the premier added.
Rabbi Yehoshua Gelbard, a friend of the late Rabbi Shevach who manages the yeshiva where the victim learned and taught, said that his friend was a volunteer at both Magen David Admon and part of a chevra kadisha (Jewish burial society). "Rabbi Raziel was a rare combination of a smart student and devoted to God, who was kind to everyone who surrounded him," Rabbi Gelbard recounted.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, spoke in the wake of the attack and said that West Bank residents "will not give in to terror."
"I want to make a clear statement to these cowardly murderers who shoot and flee: We are not scared, the people of Israel are alive and we will win," Dagan added.
Opposition head Isaac Herzog also spoke out after the attack. "To our dismay, terror doesn't rest for a moment and this time the victim is a paramedic who dedicated his life to his fellow men, regardless of their background. We will struggle and persevere, we will persecute and punish, we will console and mourn, together with his wife and six children and family. May his memory be a blessing," he stated.
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid also sent out his condolences, writing: "A difficult evening. The heart aches over the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach by a vile person. The State of Israel [stands] strong facing terror. I am certain that security forces are doing everything to capture the terrorists. I wish to send my condolences to his family."
Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union said that she was "hurting with the people of Israel [over] the murder of Raziel Shevach Z"L in the terror attack, hugging the family and backing security forces in any action required against terror."
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad expressed praises for Tuesday's attack which claimed Rabbi Shevach's life.
Havat Gilad is home to about 50 families, and is situated near the Palestinian town of Jit, that is some 10 kilometers west of Nablus.
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon a Palestinian woman was arrested at the Shilo Junction (a popular West Bank bus station) after an Israeli man complained that the woman had tried to hurl a knife at him. When the woman was searched by security forces she was found to be carrying a bottle full of petrol. The military said that no injuries were reported in the incident.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now