A Palestinian terrorist shot and murdered two and seriously wounded a third at the Barkan industrial zone in Samaria.
A Palestinian terrorist shot and murdered two and seriously injured a third Sunday morning at the Barkan industrial park in Samaria.
Just before 7:00 AM, the terrorist entered the second-floor offices of the Alon metal works factory at the industrial park and fired at the three victims with a Carlo automatic weapon. He then fled the scene on a motorcycle.
Emergency and security forces quickly arrived at the site. MDA paramedics attempted to save the lives of the two victims who were in critical condition, but subsequently announced them dead on site. They are said to have been in their 30s.
The third victim, a 54-year-old woman, was rushed to Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikvah in serious but stable condition with gunshot wounds to her upper body.
Security forces launched a manhunt for the terrorist. Initial reports indicate that he is one of the Palestinian employees at the industrial park, an accountant who has not shown up for work for several weeks.
IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis stated that “this is a serious terrorist attack carried out by a 23-year-old terrorist from the village of Shweika in the Tul Karem district. We are prepared and working to catch the terrorist and are investing the capabilities and forces, including special units, to finish this chase as soon as possible.”
Facebook posts by the terrorist uploaded on social media indicate that he was planning to carry out a terror attack.
This is the first time the industrial zone has experienced such a deadly attack. “This is a very difficult incident. Until now there have not been any security incidents here. For decades, industrial zones have served as a bridge of coexistence,” Samaria regional council chairman Yossi Dagan told IDF Radio.
According to Dagan, who visited the site of the murder, the female victim was bound before being shot.
The last attack in the area occurred in 2015 when a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and injured two security guards at the industrial park. Guards at the site shot and killed the terrorist during the incident.
‘Attack on ‘Island of Coexistence’
The Barkan industrial zone, near the city of Ariel in Samaria, is home to some 160 factories that employ 10,000 workers, 7,000 of whom are Palestinians.
The industrial zone is considered an island of coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, but has repeatedly been the target of boycotts by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
President Reuven Rivlin stated after the attack that he was “shocked and saddened by this morning’s terrible terrorist attack at the Barkan industrial area.”
“Our hearts are with the families of those who were killed, and our prayers are with those who are injured,” he said.
“This was not only an attack on innocent people going about their daily lives, it was also an attack on the possibility of Israelis and Palestinians co-existing peacefully,” he noted.
He called on the Palestinian leadership to “condemn this murderous attack and to use the forces at their disposal to capture the terrorist and those who aided him.”
He vowed that Israel will not rest until every one of the terrorists “is brought to justice.”