The victim of a shooting attack outside Hebron Monday night was named late Tuesday as Baruch Mizrahi, a 47-year-old father of five who filled a variety of senior positions in Israel’s military and police intelligence forces.
Mizrahi, who was gunned down in a terror attack as he was driving with his family to a Passover seder, was a senior officer in the IDF’s intelligence force, and more recently a senior police intelligence and crime officer, Army Radio reported.
On Tuesday night, Mizrahi’s colleagues in the police force mourned his loss, saying he would be missed both as a colleague and as a friend.
“This is a loss for his family first and foremost, and a great personal and professional loss to the force and the department, to the police force and to the state of Israel,” Mizrahi’s commander said.
“Beyond being a first-rate professional, he was a true friend who volunteered for every mission with dedication and faith, and lent a sympathetic ear to those under his command, to his colleagues and to his commanders. His presence could not be missed. Baruch devoted his entire life to his two great loves — his family, and the State of Israel.”
Mizrahi, who served in the military for 25 years, filled a variety of senior roles. In June 2011, he was drafted into the police force, where he served as head of the technology department in the police intelligence force.
His pregnant wife Hadas, 28, was moderately injured in the attack. One of their sons, a 9-year-old who was in a second vehicle, was wounded by shrapnel. He was operated on overnight Monday, and released on Tuesday.
The IDF’s initial investigation of the attack found that the shooter approached Route 35, near Idhna, on foot, and fired dozens of rounds from a Kalashnikov automatic weapon at passing cars from a distance of several meters.
Mizrahi was killed when the family’s car was struck by several bullets. His wife was evacuated to Sha’arei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem with broken bones, but no life-threatening injuries. She was informed of her husband’s death and was being treated for shock.
Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, on Tuesday visited the wounded mother at a Jerusalem hospital.
“A harsh incident, I have been updated that everybody is making the efforts to capture the terrorists, the murderers. I assume that the security forces will get their hands on the murderers,” he said.
In the US, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki condemned the attack and called on “all parties to exercise restraint and avoid any actions that would raise tensions.”
The family was traveling from their home in Modi’in to Hebron to participate in the Passover seder meal with family.
Meanwhile Tuesday, security forces were searching extensively for the perpetrators of the attack. Searches were focused on the nearby Palestinian village of Idhna, from which officials believed the gunman or gunmen originated. Several village residents were arrested on Tuesday, but as of Tuesday night, the perpetrators had not been found.
On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinian Authority for the “reprehensible” attack, blasting it for failing to condemn the fatal shooting.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.