Reserve officer killed by errant fire during West Bank stabbing
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Reserve officer killed by errant fire during West Bank stabbing

Eliav Gelman, 30, father of two, hit as soldiers attempt to neutralize Palestinian who attacked him at the Etzion Junction; stabber shot, injured

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Army and rescue forces at the scene of a stabbing attack at the Etzion Junction in the West Bank on Wednesday, February 24, 2016. (Israel Fire and Rescue Services)
Army and rescue forces at the scene of a stabbing attack at the Etzion Junction in the West Bank on Wednesday, February 24, 2016. (Israel Fire and Rescue Services)

An Israeli army reservist was killed by errant IDF gunfire during a Palestinian stabbing attack at the Etzion Junction in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The victim, named as Eliav Gelman, 30, an officer in the Air Force reserves, was taken in critical condition to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, the Magen David Adom rescue service said, where doctors said he succumbed to his wounds some two hours after the 12:15 attack. He had been on his way home from his Air Force base when attacked.

The army confirmed that a Palestinian attacker jumped on Gelman, from the nearby settlement of Karmei Tzur, and tried to stab him.

“IDF forces at the scene responded and in order to thwart the attack fired towards the assailant. Initial investigation suggests that Captain Gelman was injured as a result of the fire,” the army said in a statement.

Eliav Gelman (Facebook)
Eliav Gelman (Facebook)

Gelman, a father of two from the settlement of Karmei Tzur, was hit by fire from two soldiers, according to reports. The IDF said later he was attacked at a bus stop at the heavily guarded junction, which is frequented by Israelis and Palestinians alike.

“After efforts to save his life we were forced to declare him dead,” a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek hospital told Army Radio.

The Palestinian attacker was also hit, sustaining moderate to serious injuries, according to rescuers.

He was also taken to a hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.

Palestinian sources identified the attacker as 26-year-old Mamduh Amro, from the village of Dura near Hebron.

The Etzion Junction has seen a spate of attacks, many targeting soldiers stationed at the intersection. In November, American teen Ezra Schwartz was killed in a terror attack at the site.

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Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.

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