Palestinian Infiltrator Kills Itamar Settlement Security Chief

A Palestinian infiltrator shot dead the security coordinator of the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar Friday morning.

A Palestinian infiltrator shot dead the security coordinator of the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar Friday morning. Shlomo Miller, 50, was killed when he answered a call from other security personnel saying they had been fired on by a Palestinian at the back gate of the settlement. When the Palestinian saw Miller's car, which was not armored, arrive on the scene, he opened fire. Miller was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where he died of head and chest wounds.

The gunman, an officer in the preventive security forces of the Palestinian Authority identified as Yusuf Hanani, 29, of the nearby village of Beit Furik, was killed by the other security personnel after he opened fire on them with Miller's weapon.

Miller, father of seven, came to Israel from South Africa and he was the 13th victim of the conflict of the past four years from Itamar. In 2002 Miller replaced the previous security coordinator, Yosef Tuito, who was killed with his wife and three children by a terrorist who infiltrated the settlement.

The military wing of Fatah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, claimed responsibility for the killing, saying it was in revenge for the IDF killing senior members of the organization in Nablus in recent months.

IDF sources said that Hanani, who had served a sentence of several years in an Israeli prison, had been dispatched by Ahmad Abu-Salta, a Fatah Tanzim member from Balata refugee camp near Nablus.

Shomron Regional Council said that following Miller's shooting, several minutes passed before a civilian Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance arrived from the settlement of Bracha. The council said the ambulance station operated by the Shomron Brigade regional headquarters had been closed down in January.

In response, the MDA said the civilian ambulance arrived in 11 minutes, but a military medical team operated by the MDA reached Miller in 3-5 minutes.

Elsewhere in the territories on Friday, other shooting incidents with no injuries were reported near Tulkarm in the West Bank, and Gush Katif and Rafah in the Gaza Strip. IDF troops injured two armed Palestinian north of the Karni-Netzarim road in the Gaza Strip.

Along the fence around the Gaza Strip, the IDF discovered two large explosive charges on the weekend., each weighing about 90 kg. Southern Command said the bombs were being prepared by terrorist organizations for use against IDF patrols on the Israeli side of the fence.