Outrage Follows Terror Attack in Huwara that Left Two Israeli Brothers Dead

On Sunday, two Israeli brothers were shot and killed in a terror attack in the northern West Bank town of Huwara.[0] The victims were identified as brothers Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, both residents of the West Bank settlement of Har Bracha.[1] The Magen David Adom ambulance service initially said its medics were treating two men who were critically hurt and were taking them by helicopter to a hospital, but they were later announced to have died.[2]

The suspected shooter has escaped the vicinity and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have initiated a search operation. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) declared that they had begun a search for the assailants, sealing off multiple roads around the vicinity. Multiple shooting incidents targeting Israeli drivers on Huwara's Route 60 have occurred.[2]

The attack sparked outrage among Israeli leaders.[3] President Isaac Herzog condemned the violence, calling on Israelis to allow security forces to continue their operations to catch the terrorist and to restore order immediately.[4] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I am asking, while blood is boiling and winds are high — don’t take the law into your hands. I ask that you allow the IDF and security forces to do their work. I remind you that in recent weeks, they have targeted dozens of terrorists and thwarted dozens of attacks. Let the IDF complete its pursuit and do not take the law into your hands; together we will defeat terrorism.”[5]

Later Sunday, footage from Huwara showed a house belonging to a local Palestinian on fire, reportedly after it was torched by settlers.[3] Palestinian reports said that at least 15 homes were damaged and more than 25 cars were set on fire.[4] In addition to the two victims, the Palestinian Health Ministry said 20 were treated in hospitals for tear gas and smoke inhalation.[6] One person sustained serious injuries after being struck in the head with a rock, and another individual sustained minor injuries after being attacked with a metal rod.[7]

Yoav Gallant, the Defense Minister, mandated that the security forces' operational and intelligence sections concentrate their efforts on apprehending the terrorists. He also stated that any methods, including pre-emptive strikes, should be used to impede any future attacks.[3] He also gave the go-ahead to temporarily increasing the number of troops in the West Bank to provide better coverage of the region.[3]

But one regional settlement official, Davidi Ben Zion, tweeted (and then deleted) a call for vengeance.[5] “The village of Huwara needs to be wiped out today.[5]

0. “Two Israelis shot and killed in the West Bank, settler leader says” KTVZ, 26 Feb. 2023, https://ktvz.com/news/2023/02/26/two-israelis-shot-and-killed-in-the-west-bank-settler-leader-says/

1. “‘No words can console us': Hillel, Yagel Yaniv killed in terror attack” The Jerusalem Post, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-732785

2. “Two Brothers, Yeshiva Students, Killed in Terror Attack Near Havara in Shomron” http://hamodia.com, 26 Feb. 2023, https://hamodia.com/2023/02/26/two-israelis-shot-dead-near-huwara-in-shomron/

3. “Huwara terrorist still at large after killing two, manhunt underway” The Jerusalem Post, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-732764

4. “West Bank: Palestinian Killed In Revenge Riots By Israeli Settlers In Huwara” i24NEWS, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/middle-east/palestinian-territories/1677440553-violent-clashes-between-israelis-palestinians-at-site-of-deadly-west-bank-shooting

5. “3 dead after bloody day in West Bank, as settlers riot following Palestinian shooting attack” JTA News – Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.jta.org/2023/02/26/israel/gunman-kills-2-israelis-in-west-bank-town-in-latest-shooting-amid-spate-of-violence

6. “Israel Reels Over Another Arab Terror Attack Killing 2 Jews” COLlive, 26 Feb. 2023, https://collive.com/israel-reels-over-another-arab-terror-attack-killing-2-jews/

7. “Palestinian killed as settlers rampage in Huwara after deadly terror attack” The Times of Israel, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/settlers-said-to-rampage-in-huwara-after-deadly-attack-set-fire-to-cars-and-homes