Israeli tow truck driver shoots and kills two Palestinians near Hebron

Driver says assailants tried to kidnap him and steal his vehicle

An Israeli tow truck driver shot and killed two Palestinians and injured another on Sunday in the southern Mount Hebron area of the West Bank, after the two reportedly tried to beat him, hijack his vehicle, and kidnap him.

The driver, a 52-year-old resident of Ashkelon, sustained light to moderate injuries to his head and neck as a result of the assault.

After the incident, despite his injuries, the Israeli man managed to drive to the nearby Meitar checkpoint, where he received preliminary medical treatment. He was then taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

The driver told police that he fired at three Palestinians who had attacked him with a crowbar.

The Palestinian assailants were taken to a Hebron hospital, where the deaths of two of them were confirmed, according to police officials. The men were identified as Naim al-Najar, 34, who was shot in the head and neck, and Anwar Abbed Rabbo, 35, who was shot in the chest.

Hebron police confirmed that the driver had acted in self defense.

Zahran Abu Qbetta, head of the Yatta municipality, told the Ma’an News Agency that the two men were on their way to work at the time of the shooting.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas blamed the Israeli government and the IDF for the incident, according to Israel Radio, saying that settlers were wreaking havoc, using military weapons under government protection.

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Security forces launched an investigation into the incident, and were canvassing the area.

There has been a recent surge in attacks against Israelis traveling in the West Bank, according to military officials, who estimate that many of the assaults were also kidnap attempts.

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