Female soldier wounded in Hebron sniper attack

Army launches manhunt for shooter from Abu Sneineh neighborhood, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs holy site

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Scene of the shooting attack, in which one woman was moderately injured, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on January 3, 2016. (Screen capture)
Scene of the shooting attack, in which one woman was moderately injured, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on January 3, 2016. (Screen capture)

An IDF soldier was moderately to seriously wounded in a shooting attack near the Tomb of the Patriarchs holy site, according to the army.

The soldier had a bullet wound in her pelvis, according to the Magen David Adom emergency medical service. She was evacuated to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment.

The victim was a cadet in Hebron on a field trip as a part of the army’s officer’s training course, the IDF said in a statement.

The apparent sniper attack, which took place at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday, targeted the parking lot at Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs holy site.

The gunfire came from the nearby Abu Sneineh neighborhood, the army said. Soldiers have launched a manhunt for the shooter.

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Palestinian media reported that the sniper fled the scene following the shooting.

In early November, a 16-year-old Israeli was seriously injured and an 18-year-old was lightly wounded in a shooting attack in the parking lot of the holy site. That gunfire also reportedly came from the Abu Sneineh neighborhood. The perpetrator or perpetrators from the November shooting were not apprehended.

“When we arrived on the scene, we saw a young woman, about 19, fully conscious and being cared for by an army medical team that was near the incident,” MDA paramedic Hanoch Zelinger said. “She suffered from a penetration wound in her lower body. We loaded her up to the ambulance, and during the evacuation gave her intravenous liquids, a bandage and medication.”

Responding to the death of the holy site’s gardener Genadi Kaufman, 41, three weeks after he was stabbed in Hebron by a Palestinian terrorist, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last Wednesday that Jews would “remain forever” at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

The tomb, shared by Jews and Muslims who both revere it as the final resting place of the biblical patriarch Abraham and his kin, has been a particular source of tension in the city, witnessing dozens of stabbings, car-rammings and shootings amid a wave of Palestinian terror attacks since October.

The site is also linked in Israelis’ collective memory to previous brutal sniper attacks from Abu Sneineh. A 2001 shooting by a sniper from Abu Sneineh killed ten-month-old Israeli infant Shalhevet Pass, with investigators concluding the sniper had aimed for the baby.

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Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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