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‘It was a miracle,’ says Israeli who was only lightly injured in West Bank shooting

Yonatan Nizri was in sukkah with his wife and infant son when bullets from Palestinian terrorists pierced the chair he was sitting on

Yonatan Nizri stands in the sukkah a day after he was wounded in a terror attack there in Beit El, October 15, 2022. (Screenshot/Kan)
Yonatan Nizri stands in the sukkah a day after he was wounded in a terror attack there in Beit El, October 15, 2022. (Screenshot/Kan)

An Israeli man who was lightly wounded in a West Bank shooting attack over the weekend said it was a miracle he was not more seriously injured.

In an interview with Ynet published late Saturday, Yonatan Nizri, 25, described how the gunfire from two Palestinian terrorists narrowly missed hitting him, his wife, and his infant son.

Nizri said he was sitting in his sukkah in the West Bank settlement of Beit El on Friday night when he and his family heard the sound of shooting.

There were more than a dozen other people sitting in the sukkah when several bullets punched through the flimsy walls of the temporary backyard abode where they sat during the religious festival.

“I felt a blow to my jaw and I immediately grabbed my wife and child and we went inside,” Nizri said. “It is a tough feeling. To switch in a second from a festival atmosphere to one of an attack was hard to absorb,” he said.

“This could have ended completely differently, this was definitely a miracle,” Nizri added, pointing to a bullet hole in the plastic chair he was sitting on at the time. “If the bullet [trajectory] had been a little offset, this could have ended completely differently.”

Bullet holes in the wall of a sukkah in the West Bank settlement of Beit El following a shooting attack that lightly injured an Israeli man, October 15, 2022. (Courtesy)

Nizri, who was lightly injured by shrapnel from a bullet, was taken to the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.

He said the shooting damaged his feeling of security.

“After an incident like this… when you feel that your child and wife were in lethal danger, you ask questions,” he said.

Referencing media reports that Israeli security forces had information on an imminent attack and even laid an ambush for the gunmen that swiftly ended the shooting, Nizri asked if more could have been done to prevent the attackers from opening fire.

A butler hole in a chair caused during a shooting attack on the settlement of Beit El, October 15, 2022. (Ynet; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Israel Defense Forces said a Palestinian gunman was shot dead by Israeli troops who were operating in the area as he attempted to flee the scene.

The IDF and Shin Bet said Saturday that Israeli forces detained the second suspect after an hourslong manhunt, and later recovered a weapon used in the attack.

The two gunmen apparently opened fire at the settlement from a nearby hill, close to the Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

An assault rifle allegedly used in a shooting attack on the settlement of Beit El in the West Bank is found by troops, October 15, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The attack came at a time of rising violence in the West Bank, after two soldiers were killed in shooting attacks on Saturday and Tuesday, one in Jerusalem and the second near Nablus.

On Friday morning, two Palestinian gunmen were shot dead in the West Bank city of Jenin, as Israeli troops arrested a member of the Hamas terror group allegedly responsible for a series of shooting attacks.

Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts in the West Bank since a spate of terror attacks against Israelis in the spring killed 19 people.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli operations this year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly attacked military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

The rising West Bank violence has also spread to Jerusalem, where Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police and civilians over the past two nights.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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