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Israel: Gunmen behind Ofra and Givat Assaf shootings are brothers

An Israeli security official identifies the Palestinian gunman who killed 2 soldiers in a shooting attack near the Givat Assaf outpost last week as Asem Barghouti, the brother of Salih Barghouti, who is suspected of carrying out a drive-by shooting outside the nearby settlement of Ofra days earlier.

Salih Barghouti is believed to opened fire at a bus stop near Ofra, injuring 7 Israelis, including a pregnant woman who later lost her baby. He was killed by Israeli security forces during his arrest last week.

A poster published by Hamas claiming the December 9, 2108, Ofra terror attack and praising the ‘martyr’ Salih Barghouti, posted on Hamas’s official Twitter account, December 12, 2108. (Twitter)

The official confirms the Barghoutis’ identities to The Times of Israel in a text message.

Israeli troops have have launched extensive searches for the gunman who fled the scene after shooting dead IDF Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef, 20, and Cpl. Yosef Cohen, 19, as they waited for a bus outside Givat Assaf.

— Adam Rasgon

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