IDF said to raid homes in ongoing manhunt for shooters
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IDF said to raid homes in ongoing manhunt for shooters

One victim of terror attack near Avnei Hefetz remains in critical condition day later; wife saved by 10-shekel coin

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

The car which was hit in a shooting terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Avnei Hefez, December 9, 2015. (Photo by Gili Yaari/Flash90)
The car which was hit in a shooting terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Avnei Hefez, December 9, 2015. (Photo by Gili Yaari/Flash90)

Security forces continued their search Thursday for the perpetrators of a terror attack in the West Bank the night before, as one of two injured victims remained in critical condition.

Shaul and Rachel Nir were shot in their car from another vehicle as they left the Avnei Hefetz settlement after lighting Hanukkah candles at their daughter’s house. Their car was hit by over 20 bullets, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash.

Magen David Adom paramedics gave the couple preliminary treatment at the scene before evacuating them to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. Doctors said one of the bullets pierced Shaul’s skull, who was initially listed in moderate to serious condition but deteriorated overnight. Rachel suffered light wounds after a bullet was stopped by a 10-shekel coin in her bag, according to Army Radio.

Soldiers were still searching the surrounding area Thursday morning for a the shooters who fled the scene in a vehicle.

Residents of nearby Tulkarem reported that the army raided homes in the city and nearby villages overnight.

Immediately after the shooting the IDF placed a complete lockdown on the Nur a-Shams refugee camp where the suspects were initially thought to have been hiding.

Further information on the ongoing investigation has been placed under a gag order by the army.

Shaul Nir was identified as one of the activists in the Jewish Underground, a Jewish terror group active in the 1980s. He was convicted and jailed for his role in a 1983 shooting attack at the Islamic College in Hebron that left three students dead, and for membership in the Jewish terror group.

Nir was given a life sentence, but was pardoned by President Chaim Herzog in 1990 after serving seven years.

The Jewish Underground was disbanded in 1986 after the Shin Bet intercepted an attempt by the group’s members to firebomb five Arab buses in East Jerusalem. Fifteen members of the group, which numbered 29 in all, were convicted and served prison terms.

Wednesday’s shooting came hours after two Israelis in their twenties, one a soldier, were wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank city of Hebron. The soldier sustained multiple wounds to his upper body, according to the Magen David Adom emergency service. The terrorist was shot and killed by security forces.

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