Reservist soldier, fresh from Gaza war, shot Ma’ale Adumim terrorist attacker

Hananya Ben Shimon, 23, was sitting in a car with his mother when terrorists opened fire in traffic; used pistol to shoot back, killing one, and was moderately injured himself

Police at the scene of a terror shooting attack on Route 1 near Ma'ale Adumim, in the West Bank, February 22, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Police at the scene of a terror shooting attack on Route 1 near Ma'ale Adumim, in the West Bank, February 22, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

A reservist soldier who recently returned from the war in the Gaza Strip shot dead one of the three terrorists who attacked motorists Thursday near a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement city of Ma’ale Adumim but was himself moderately injured in the exchange of fire.

One person was killed and 11 others injured in the attack.

Hananya Ben Shimon, 23, was sitting in a car with his mother when the attackers began shooting with automatic weapons at the traffic jam.

His father, Arik, told the media that Hananya had returned from the Gaza Strip, including the heavy battles for Khan Younis, just a week and a half ago after serving for three months in the reserves as a tank crew member.

Hananya was on his way to work as a tour group guard and was armed with a pistol from the security company.

He saw one of the terrorists open fire to the left of the car he was sitting in, Arik said.

Hananya “fired a first bullet through the window and then he got out, made contact, and took out the terrorist,” the father said, calling his son “a hero.”

During the gunfight, Hananya was injured and is in moderate condition in Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem with bullet wounds to his stomach and leg.

“He has no serious internal injuries but has broken bones. He is conscious and talking to me,” Arik reported.

Hananya’s mother also jumped out of the car, but headed in the other direction to escape to safety, though she is suffering acute anxiety from the incident, Arik said.

“Hananya is an honest person and he told us that he is not a hero, but rather the hero is another guy who fought the terrorists and got hit in his hand. But security personnel told us that Hananya saved a lot of people today,” Arik said, referring to one of the other people injured during efforts to overcome the terrorists.

Security forces killed one of the other terrorists and shot the third, seriously injuring him, before he was detained.

A close friend of Hananya told the Ynet outlet that when Hananya was still in Gaza he had said he was prepared to endanger himself for the country and its citizens.

“Today, those words took on new meaning,” the friend, who was not named, said.

On February 4, Hananya posted to his social media account on the X platform that his unit had made it through three months of service without serious injuries.

“It’s official, final, exclamation mark,” he wrote, adding that his company “came out of Gaza with everyone on their feet after exactly three months.”

“Thank God,” he added.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who arrived at the scene of the terror shooting attack, used the circumstances to push his policy of arming as many civilians as possible for a quick response to terror incidents.

“An extremely large disaster was avoided here, thanks to the police and the armed citizens,” Ben Gvir said in a statement to the press.

“We’re distributing more and more guns. I think that today, everyone understands that guns save lives,” the far-right minister continued.

War erupted on October 7 when Palestinian terror group Hamas led a devastating attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, amid horrific atrocities including widespread gang rape, torture, and mutilation of victims.

Israel responded with a military offensive to destroy Hamas, remove it from power in Gaza, and free the 253 hostages who were abducted by the Palestinian attackers during the cross-border assault.

The fighting has seen Israel call up large numbers of reservists, many of whom have spent months in combat.

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