American Citizen Killed in Jericho Area Terror Attack as Judea, Samaria Violence Expands
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JERUSALEM, Israel – Palestinian terrorists killed an Israeli-American citizen in another deadly attack Monday on a main highway near the city of Jericho. The killing came on the same day that the family of two murdered brothers from a Jewish community in Samaria buried their sons at Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl Cemetery.
Terrorists also fired Monday on a family of five driving on a road in Samaria. No one was killed, but Arutz Sheva reports a vehicle inspection showed four bullets hit the car.
The attacks are increasing concerns about a prolonged period of violence known as an Intifada.
American citizen Elan Ganeles, age 27, died on Highway 90, one of the country's most-traveled north-south roads. Videos revealed a terror suspect who pulled up by car to a junction and began shooting at passing cars. Then he moved to another area and shot at more cars, hitting Ganales.
Friends remember the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veteran, who grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, as kind, with a keen sense of humor. He was reported to be on his way to a wedding.
After shooting at several cars, the terrorists reportedly stopped and set their car on fire near the Monastery of St. George, then fled in another vehicle.
After Sunday's murders of brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, there’s talk this recent violence could lead to a third Intifada or uprising.
Former IDF Spokesman Jonathan Conricus said the nation may be on the cusp of what he called a "rolling escalation."
And we're coming into the month of Ramadan, which historically speaking, even though it's a holy month for Muslims historically speaking, it's a month of (terrorism)," Conricus said, and added, "If we are now coming into the month of Ramadan with a lot of violence on the streets and heightened animosity, then that doesn't bode well for the future."
Sunday's murders in Samaria sparked unprecedented Israeli retaliation from Jewish residents there, some of whom descended on the Arab town of Huwara, torching cars piled up in a lot, and trying to set fire to buildings. Those actions resulted in widespread condemnation.
Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said, "I understand the hard feelings, but this isn’t the way. We can’t take the law into our hands. Israel’s government, the state of Israel, IDF, the security forces, they are ones who need to crush our enemies.”
U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price expressed concern about the weekend violence and the Israeli rioting.
"It is imperative that Israel and the Palestinians work together to de-escalate tensions and to restore calm," Price said.
Calm is not what Hamas Spokesman Abdul Latif al-Qaroua advocated after the events. He praised Monday's shooting near Jericho and said, "Never will the crimes of the occupation and its hordes of settlers not be met by further stabbing, shooting and ramming, and they will set flames and fires all over the West Bank and Jerusalem."
Shay Golan, who heads a Jewish settlement council in biblical Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, condemned the rioting and said settlement leaders do not sanction it. "To take the law into one’s hands and burn things.. this is not the way of Judaism, not the way of the Jews," he said. "I want to make it clear to all those who were there (at the rampage) we are not in the time of the (pre-state military groups) Etzel and Lehi. The underground period is over.There is a state and only the state will manage these events."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded with Knesset members for dialogue Monday, not only concerning the government's fight against terrorism, but also concerning the weekly demonstrations against judicial reform. He assured parliament members that Israel will not become "a Halachic state" ruled by religious parties.
"We all love the country. This is our only home," Netanyahu said. There is one way to lower the flames boiling inside us: start talking. I am convinced that with goodwill, we can reach an agreement."
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