An Israel Defense Forces soldier was killed outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron Sunday evening by what the army said was Palestinian sniper fire.
The Givati Brigade soldier was later identified as Sgt. Gal Gabriel Kobi, 20, from Tirat HaCarmel.
Magen David Adom rescue teams that arrived at the scene provided emergency assistance to Gavriel, who was initially reported to be in critical condition after being shot in the neck. He was hit by a single bullet.
Kobi was evacuated by ambulance to a hospital in Jerusalem, where he was pronounced dead a short while later.
According to Channel 2 News, IDF officials estimate that the attack was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist from one of the nearby neighborhoods in the city.
IDF soldiers imposed a curfew on Palestinians in Hebron and began searching the area for the perpetrator of the attack.
Palestinian sources reported violent clashes between IDF troops and local Palestinian residents in the wake of the shooting. Several Palestinians were detained by the IDF, Israel Radio reported.
A graphic video uploaded by the Palestinian Wattan news agency claimed to have been taken shortly after Kobi was shot. IDF soldiers are seen rushing toward the injured soldier, while another shouts repeatedly for a medic. Two women rush towards the soldiers in order to photograph the man on the ground.
According to unverified reports, Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack, the radio report said.
The Tomb of the Patriarchs, holy to both Jews and Muslims, is a popular pilgrimage site for religious Jews during the Sukkot holiday. Thousands of people are expected to arrive at the city throughout the holiday.
Sukkot festival events in Hebron would be allowed by the IDF to go on as planned Monday despite the shooting. The IDF had sent bolstered forces to the city on Sunday morning, and was further boosting its security presence after the attack.
After Sunday’s killing, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz met with GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon and other West Bank commanders for a situation assessment. The IDF brass decided to increase the troop presence in targeted West Bank areas while the manhunt for the shooter continued.
In response to the shooting, an Israeli source in Hebron said the city’s Jewish community was pressuring politicians to approve re-settlement of the Machpelah house, a building near the Tomb of Patriarchs which was previously boarded up by order of the Minister of Defense.
Sunday’s shooting came a day after an Israeli soldier, Tomer Hazan, was found dead in a village near Qalqilya, having been lured to the area and murdered by a Palestinian acquaintance who confessed to the killing.