The condition of an Israeli woman who was seriously injured in Thursday’s shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Givat Assaf has improved, her father told the Ynet news site on Friday.
Rabbi Yoram Sabag said his daughter, Shira, 20, watched the Palestinian attacker gun down the two soldiers from close range, while praying for the ordeal to be over.
“She was standing at the hitchhiking post when she heard gunshots. The terrorist got out of his car and began spraying bullets. Shira saw the two soldiers fall to the floor with gunshot wounds and then she herself got hit with two bullets and fell to the ground,” he said.
“At this point, she saw the terrorist and prayed that he would stop shooting. She was terrified that he would walk over and shoot her in the head, but a few seconds later the shooting stopped and the terrorist escaped,” Sabag said.
Today, thankfully she is doing better, and is in recovery. It’s a miracle,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, thousands attended the funerals of the slain soldiers, IDF Sgt. Yosef Cohen and Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef. A third IDF soldier was seriously injured in the attack.
Cohen was buried in Jerusalem, where hundreds of people mourned the 19-year-old resident of Beit Shemesh, including Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan (Jewish Home), MKs Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) and Oren Hazan (Likud), and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.
Mor Yosef’s funeral was held at the military cemetery in his home town of Ashkelon in the south.
Some 2,000 people came to pay their respects to the 20-year-old, who was supposed to return home Thursday morning but volunteered to remain with his unit to give other soldiers time off.
Tensions have escalated in the West Bank as Israel presses on with a manhunt for the Palestinian gunman that killed Cohen and Yosef, the second fatal attack this week, boosting its forces and arresting dozens of Hamas members in an overnight raid.
Hamas has claimed two other recent shooting attacks in the West Bank but has so far not taken responsibility for Thursday’s attack, near the settlement of Givat Assaf.
The Israeli military says it believes a Hamas cell conducted Sunday’s attack in Ofra, and that the terror group may have also committed the shooting in nearby Givat Assaf.
Meanwhile in overnight raids, Israeli officials said the IDF arrested 40 Hamas members in the West Bank as the army intensified a crackdown in response to the pair of deadly shootings.
Amid the tense manhunt, Israeli forces encircled Ramallah, the Palestinians’ center of government and commerce. To prevent what it called “copycat attacks,” the army set up checkpoints, searched cars and blocked roads in an unusual show of force that reflected the severity with which Israel views the shootings.
The West Bank has seen an increase in the number of attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers in recent weeks, after months of relative calm in the area, raising concerns of a potential renewed outbreak of regular, serious violence in the region.
The military blamed the increase in attacks both on the Hamas terror groups’ ongoing efforts, the copycat phenomenon and a number of significant dates coming up this week, notably the anniversary of the Hamas’ founding.