Two Jewish brothers from the Samaria community of Har Bracha were murdered Sunday in a terrorist shooting attack at the Huwara checkpoint on Route 60, south of Shechem.
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Hillel Menachem Yaniv, and his brother, Yigal Yaakov Yaniv, were traveling when the terrorists’ vehicle crashed into their vehicle, forcing them to stop. At least one of the terrorists then exited the vehicle, walked over to the Israelis’ car, and shot them at point-blank range, execution-style. The terrorists then fled towards Shechem.
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The brothers were on their way to their yeshivot from their home when they were attacked. Hillel, 21, was a student at a hesder yeshivah in Kiryat Shemona and had completed his mandatory service in the Israeli Air Force just 10 days before he was murdered. His brother Yigal, 19, was a student at the hesder yeshiva in Givat Olga.
Their parents announced Sunday evening that they had decided to donate their sons’ organs.
Yossi Dagan: Government Must Move from Defensive to Offensive
“It was right behind me, the shooting was from point blank range – it looked terrible,” the head of the Beit El regional council, who saw the attack, told Israel’s Channel 12 News.
Security personnel are searching for the shooters.
“Unfortunately, this is a very difficult incident. The government must change the paradigm and move from defensive to offensive. It cannot be that in the middle of the day, terrorists allow themselves to shoot innocent civilians,” said Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council.
Netanyahu: ‘We Will Find the Murderer and Settle Accounts with Him’
In a statement released Sunday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “A terrible tragedy occurred today. I would like to send condolences to the Yaniv family, which lost two of its dear sons; may God avenge them.
“The IDF and the security forces are currently in pursuit of the murderer. We will find him. We will apprehend him and we will settle accounts with him,” Netanyahu promised.
“I ask – even when the blood is boiling – not to take the law into one’s hands. I ask that the IDF and the security forces be allowed to carry out their work. I remind you that in recent weeks, they have targeted dozens of terrorists and thwarted dozens of attacks,” the prime minister said.
“Let the IDF complete its pursuit and do not take the law into your hands; together we will defeat terrorism.”
Smotrich: Every Jew is a Target
Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich said he happened to drive past the location of the murder several minutes before the shooting.
“My heart is torn with sorrow for the brutal murder of the brothers Hillel and Yigal Yaniv from the settlement of Har Bracha in the terrorist attack in Huwara. I myself passed there a few minutes before the attack, and every day many thousands of Jews pass there on the road. Every Jew is a target for those bloodthirsty terrorists.”
Smotrich echoed calls for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recall an Israeli delegation from a security summit in Jordan. The meeting took place in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, with the participation of officials from the Palestinian Authority, US, Egypt and Jordan. The Israeli delegation was led by National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Ronen Bar.
“‘Calm’ will only be achieved when the IDF hits the cities of terror and its perpetrators mercilessly, with tanks and helicopters, in such a way that it will broadcast that the owner of the house has gone mad and will take away their desire to harm us,” Smotrich said. “We will demand an immediate meeting of the cabinet to make decisions,” he said.
TPS contributed to this report.