Israeli man seriously injured, 2 daughters lightly hurt in West Bank terror shooting

Children hit by shrapnel in attack near Tekoa settlement; alleged gunman arrested in Bethlehem after manhunt, identified as Hamas activist from Hebron

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli forces at the scene of a terrorist shooting attack, near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, July 16, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Israeli forces at the scene of a terrorist shooting attack, near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, July 16, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

An Israeli man was shot and seriously wounded, and his two daughters were lightly hurt, in a terror shooting attack in the West Bank on Sunday morning, the military and medics said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the Palestinian gunman opened fire from a passing vehicle at the victim’s car on a highway near the settlement of Tekoa, south of Bethlehem and about 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Jerusalem.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said its medics took a 35-year-old man to the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, in serious but stable condition.

MDA said the man’s two daughters, aged 9 and 14, were also taken to Shaare Zedek, for light injuries caused by shrapnel.

The victims were later named as Elroi Kapach and his two daughters, Rachel and Avigayil, from the nearby settlement of Nokdim.

The IDF launched a manhunt and later announced the detention of the suspect who allegedly carried out the  shooting.

The alleged gunman was arrested by members of the elite Duvdevan unit in Bethlehem, after receiving information from the Shin Bet security agency and Military Intelligence Directorate of his whereabouts, the military said.

The IDF said troops also seized the car used by the alleged terrorist, along with the M-16 assault rifle suspected to have been used in the attack.

Following his arrest, the suspect was identified in reports as Amar al-Najjar, a 26-year-old Hamas activist from Hebron who had previously served time in Israeli prison.

Another two suspects were also detained in Bethlehem, the IDF said.

An M-16 assault rifle suspected to have been used in a shooting attack in the West Bank, July 16, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hailed Israeli forces for nabbing the alleged gunman.

“As we proved today, any time it’s necessary we will prove… every terrorist will pay a heavy price,” Gallant said on Twitter. “We will chase after and reach our enemies.”

He also wished a speedy recovery to the three members of the Kapach family who were wounded in the attack.

During the past year, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been high across the West Bank for the past year and a half, with the military carrying out near-nightly raids, amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.

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