2 Israelis killed, 1 injured in West Bank terror shooting

Shin Bet, IDF launch manhunt for suspect in attack at Barkan Industrial Park, reportedly by a Palestinian man who worked there

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Medics and security forces arrive at the scene of a shooting attack in the Barkan Industrial Park in the northern West Bank on October 7, 2018. (Magen David Adom)
Medics and security forces arrive at the scene of a shooting attack in the Barkan Industrial Park in the northern West Bank on October 7, 2018. (Magen David Adom)

Two Israelis were shot dead and a third was wounded Sunday morning in a terror attack at the Barkan Industrial Park in the northern West Bank, the army said.

The Magen David Adom medical service said that a man in his 30s and a woman had been critically injured and were later pronounced dead.

The woman who was killed in the attack was identified as Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, from Rosh Ha’ayin, and the man was named as Ziv Hajbi, 35, from Rishon Lezion.

The third victim, a woman in her 50s, was moderately wounded and taken to Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital for treatment. A hospital spokesperson said the victim did not appear to be in life-threatening condition.

Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, from Rosh Ha’ayin, who was killed in a terror attack at the Barkan industrial park, October 7, 2018 (Facebook)

Security forces launched a manhunt for the shooter, who fled the scene after the attack.

“The suspect arrived at the industrial park and opened fire at three civilians. Large numbers of IDF and Shin Bet security service forces have launched a manhunt for the suspect, whose identity is known to security forces. In addition, large numbers of troops have spread out throughout the area to conduct searches and checks,” the army said.

The IDF spokesperson later confirmed that the shooting was a terror attack.

Palestinian media reported road closures and checkpoints throughout the northern West Bank as security forces searched for the suspect.

The suspected assailant was a Palestinian man in his early 20s from the northern West Bank village of Shuweika, near Tulkarem, the IDF said.

Security camera video from the scene appeared to show him fleeing after the attack, a locally-produced “Carlo” submachine gun in hand.

The suspect was an employee of the business where the attack was carried out — the Alon Group, which manufactures waste management systems. The IDF spokesperson denied reports that he had recently been fired, but said the suspect had been missing from work in the day preceding the shooting.

The businesses in the Barkan Industrial Park, located near the settlement-city of Ariel, employ some 8,000 people, approximately half of them Israelis and the other half Palestinians.

“This is a very difficult incident. Until now there have not been any security incidents here. For decades, industrial zones have served as a bridge of coexistence,” Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan said.

The Barkan Industrial Park next to the West Bank settlement of Ariel. (Photo by Shuki/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0)

Shai Amichai, the director general of the industrial zone, also described the location as a good example of Israelis and Palestinians working side by side.

“Both in the industrial area and in the community itself, the cooperation is fruitful,” he told the Ynet news site. “We are in a relationship of neighborliness and professional relations at the highest level. The residents feel secure in their workplace, and many forge connections outside of their place of work.

“I do not know the security procedures of the zone,” added Amichai. “But there was no decrease in the number of security forces in the region, neither overt nor undercover.”

The mayor of the nearby city of Ariel, Eli Shviro, told the Walla news site that “the industrial zones in which Jews and Palestinians work together are the path to coexistence in our region.”

In 2015, a Palestinian stabbed and injured two security guards at the same industrial park. Guards at the site shot and killed the attacker during that incident.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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