Victim in Kiryat Arba shooting named as Ronen Hanania; wounded son recounts horror
Deceased to be laid to rest Sunday afternoon in Jerusalem; son says he he was ‘lucky to witness his final moments’
The man who was shot dead in a terror attack Saturday night near Kiryat Arba was identified on Sunday morning as Ronen Hanania, a resident of the West Bank settlement.
Hanania’s son, who was wounded in the attack, said that he and his father had parked their car and entered a convenience store located between Kiryat Arba and the adjacent city of Hebron. When they returned to their car to leave, the attacker “opened fire on us from the left,” he recalled Sunday morning.
After hearing his father scream, the son turned to see him with a severe wound to his head. “The bullet entered from above and his head opened up. I saw him die.”
The deceased’s son, who has not been named, told Channel 12 he waited 15 minutes for emergency services to arrive at the scene, before deciding to seek refuge back inside the grocery store.
Inside the store, he said that “Arabs treated my hand, one of them took a sweater and made me a tourniquet. Afterward, they told us that everything was okay and that there was a paramedic for us outside.” But as they exited the store, the gunman opened fire on them for a second time, sending them scrambling back into the store.
“The terrorist shot at the windows, and as you see in the footage, they [security forces] killed him by ramming him and then shooting him.”
Returning to his wounded father, the son said, “He was breathing, he had a pulse, but his brain had been damaged… he had no chance of living. I saw my father, I was lucky to witness his final moments.”
The attacker was identified as Muhammed Kamel al-Jabari, an apparent member of the Hamas terror group. After shooting Hanania and his son, Jabari opened fire on medics and settlement security guards who arrived at the scene to help the pair.
In all, Jabari wounded three other people, one of them seriously — a medic. A Palestinian man was also among the injured.
Israel Defense Forces chief Aviv Kohavi visited the scene of the attack on Sunday morning as part of a preliminary investigation. He also held a situational assessment with local commanders.
In the predawn hours of Sunday morning, Israeli troops measured al-Jabari’s home — the first step before its potential demolition — in Hebron. The Israel Defense Forces said troops also detained al-Jabari’s brother over his suspected involvement in the attack.
Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks as a matter of policy. The efficacy of the policy has been hotly debated even within the Israeli security establishment, while human rights activists denounce the practice as unjust collective punishment.
Al-Jabari was a married father of three. Al-Jabari’s other brother Waal had been serving life in an Israeli prison before being freed and deported to the Gaza Strip in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal in 2011.
Hanania will be buried in Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot cemetery at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.