Per statements from the IDF spokesperson’s office, and other official Israeli sources:
Four Israelis were murdered in a terrorist drive-by-shooting attack on route 60 near Qiryat Arba, east of Hebron, tonight, August 31st, 2010. Two men and two women, one of whom was pregnant, from the nearby community of Bet Hagay, were the victims of this deadly attack. (Latest reports confirms that the victims were a married couple, and two hitchhikers)
The initial IDF investigation indicates that the terrorists shot up the car with an enormous amount of firepower and – when the car stopped – then approached the vehicle and individually shot each victim to “confirm their kill”.
The Commander of the Judea and Samaria Regional Brigade, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon said:
“We have suffered a difficult terror attack in the Judea region during which civilians from the area were killed. Firstly, I would like to express my sorrow to the families of those murdered. The terror attack, it seems, was carried out by a passing vehicle, and as far as we can tell, the Hamas terror organization is behind the attack. The investigation is still underway. We were on high alert in light of the upcoming holiday period but regretfully, we were unable to prevent the attack. We will continue to be on high alert in the area. The forces are currently searching the area for the terrorists responsible.”
Only two months ago, on June 6th, 2010, an Israeli police officer was murdered by Palestinian gunmen in a similar attack near Al Fawwar, south of Hebron, on the same route 60.
On February 2nd, 2010, an IDF Non-Commisioned Officer (NCO), Sergeant 1st class Ihab Hattib was killed by a Palestinian terrorist while stopped in his vehicle at a traffic light in the Tapuah junction, south of Nablus.
Update, 2:10 AM, Jerusalem:
The victims are a husband and wife, parents of six, and two passengers. Their names were cleared for publication Tuesday night by local police:
- Yitzhak and Talya Imes
- Kochava Even Chaim
- Avishai Shindler
The four were all citizens of Beit Haggai.
Yitzhak and Talya Imes were the parents of six children, the eldest one being 24 years old and the youngest one being a year and a half old. Talya Imes was nine months pregnant when she was killed by the terrorists.
Kochava Even Chaim was a teacher in Efrat. She left behind her husband and an 8 year-old daughter.
Avishai Shindler had only recently moved to Beit Hagai with his wife.
The funerals of all four victims will take place beginning at 11:00am on Wednesday.