Eighteen-year-old U.S. national Ezra Schwartz, 24-year-old Palestinian Shadi Arafeh, and 51-year-old Israeli Rabbi Ya’acov Don have been reported killed following a drive-by shooting attack in Etzion Bloc, near the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut.
Schwartz and Arafeh were declared dead at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics. Don, an educator who spent four years teaching at the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, died later in Jerusalem at Hadassah Hospital.
According to initial Israeli media reports, Schwartz, who was in a van travelling with five friends from Beit Shemesh yeshiva, was taking part in a Birthright trip. Those reports have now been confirmed as untrue.
At least five more are wounded, including foreign nationals who were touring the area, reports Times of Israel. They were also taken to Hadassah.
Initial reports claimed that a single suspect opened fire on a group of pedestrians travelling in a van from inside his vehicle. He then slammed his vehicle into another car, and exited the vehicle with the intent to wound more Israelis, but was shot and apprehended by Israeli security forces. He is said to be in critical condition.
Latest reports indicate that there was also a second suspect, and both are currently being detained by police.
The Gush Etzion area has witnessed several terrorist attacks in the wake of the recent wave of violence that has plagued Israel over the last two months.
The attack took place just hours after two Israelis were fatally wounded in a stabbing attack in southern Tel Aviv. According to Israel’s Shin Bet agency, the suspect is a 36-year-old Palestinian from the village of Dura, near Hebron.
He did not have a previous criminal record.
According to police, the suspect, who had a permit to work in Israel, told them that he entered Israel with the intent to kill and attack Jews.