(VIDEOS & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
Two Israelis were shot dead and a third was wounded Sunday morning in a terror attack at the Barkan Industrial Park in the northern Shomron, where Israelis and Palestinians work side by side.
Magen David Adom received the call on Sunday morning, 28 Tishrei, at 7:39AM. According to combined sources, the terrorist, a 23-year-old Palestinian resident from a PA village near Tulkarem, entered the second floor where offices are located and opened fire with a Carl Gustav assault rifle and/or a pistol.
Reports indicate that the man and woman killed were found shot to death on their office floor with their hands bound. At his weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu said they had been killed “with great cruelty.”
The automatic weapon is a replica of the real one, the type that is commonly manufactured in weapons factories found throughout PA areas. TV News12 and other sources reported the terrorist is a former employee of the company where the attack occurred, leading police at first to suspect the attack may not have been an act of terrorism. Surveillance footage showed the suspect fleeing the scene, gun in hand.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 7, 2018
The name and identity of the shooter is known to authorities. Elite IDF units are involved in the ongoing manhunt for the terrorist along with police and Shin Bet agents. The shooter is believed to still be armed with an automatic weapon. A police helicopter is involved in the manhunt. The industrial park remains shut down.
An IDF spokesman said the suspect was not previously known to authorities and was not believed to belong to a terror group, saying it appeared to be a “lone wolf” attack. “We know he is still armed and considered dangerous,” he added.
The third victim, a woman in her 50s, arrived in the trauma unit of Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah conscious and alert; as is described by the hospital spokesman in the video below. Although initially listed in serious condition, it was later reported her condition has B’chasdei Hashem been stabilized, and she is now listed in moderate non-life-threatening condition. She remains in the emergency room at this time, with family members at her side.
Hi @AP, I don't think this was an autonomous gun that did the shooting.
The perpetrator has already been identified as a Palestinian man in his 20's from a nearby village that had worked at the factory. A rather pertinent detail you omitted, no? https://t.co/QDJIhY0hZG
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) October 7, 2018
It was reported earlier that while there were many persons the shooter passed as he fled the area, he did not open fire at them; adding to the theory the shooting was that of a disgruntled former employee, and not a terror attack. On the other hand, Facebook postings by the shooter from hours before the attack, including reference to Har Habayis and al-Aqsa Mosque, seem to point in the other direction, a nationalistically motivated act of terrorism.
Some employees told KAN11 Radio News that the shooter failed to report to work for the past two weeks, and suddenly appeared this morning. The accuracy of these reports are questionable at this time.
The official announcement was made by the IDF spokesman Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis at about 9:454AM, that the attack was a nationalistically motivated terrorist attack despite some of the points listed above that led some to believe otherwise.
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BARUCH DAYAN EMES: The 2nd victim in the Barkan Industrial Park terror attack was identified as 35-year-old Ziv Hajbi H”YD. He leaves behind his wife and 3 young children. Earlier, 28-year-old Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel H"YD was identified as a victim. She leaves behind her husband and 18-month-old son. The #Palestinian terrorist, a co-worker, remains on the loose.
More than 8,000 workers are employed in the industrial park, comprised of about 50% Israelis and 50% PA (Palestine Authority) residents and houses about 160 factories.
Moshe Lev-Ran, an export manager at a company whose factory is located next to the scene of the attack, said he doubted the official account.
“One of the workers was fired and he didn’t like the owner … Everybody knew him. He went upstairs to the second floor because he knew who he wanted to shoot, and he shot,” he said. “That’s what I think happened. I don’t believe it was one of the Palestinians who just woke up in the morning and took a gun to shoot an Israeli.”
“No way in our industrial zone,” he said, describing an atmosphere of camaraderie in Barkan.
KAN11 News added earlier police are still trying to determine how the terrorist succeeded in entering the premises with the automatic weapon.
A Hamas spokesman has praised the “terrorist attack”, while adding such actions against the occupation are legitimate. Officials in the Palestinian Authority remain silent following the attack.
“Our security forces are chasing after the despicable murderer,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter. “I am sure we will catch him and bring him to justice soon.”
אני מחבק בכאב גדול את משפחות שני הנרצחים בפיגוע הטרור האכזרי באזור התעשייה ברקן ושולח את תפילותינו להחלמתה המהירה של הפצועה.
כוחות הביטחון שלנו נמצאים במרדף אחרי הרוצח הנתעב. אני בטוח שנתפוס אותו ונמצה עמו את הדין ובהקדם
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) October 7, 2018
On behalf of myself and all government ministers I would like to send condolences to the families of the two people who were murdered and our hopes and prayers for a swift recovery for the woman who was wounded.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) October 7, 2018
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin 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.”
Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan told TV News12 following the attack that the industrial park is a true example of “dual existence” between PA residents and Israelis.
Dagan added, “I want to stress one thing, that this incident is very serious, but we will never break. The Zionist enterprise will continue operating in Yehuda and Shomron as well as all throughout Israel with vigor… We will continue developing the yishuvim, the education and the industry. This despicable incident will not deter us, and we will never break.”
IDF and ISA forces are searching for the Palestinian terrorist who has murdered today in #Barkan 2 Israelis, both are parents of little children.
They have searched his home & arrested a few suspected accomplices.
The terrorist will be apprehended. It's just a matter of time. pic.twitter.com/J4CJBP3a97
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) October 7, 2018
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Zaka Spokesman Unit via חדשות רוטר)