Terror Attack in Huwara Leaves Two Israeli Brothers Dead

On Sunday, two Israeli brothers were killed in a terrorist shooting attack in Huwara, a town in the northern West Bank.[0] Hillel Menachem Yaniv, 22, and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv, 20, were residents of the town of Har Bracha, near Nablus.[1] They were studying in the Kiryat Shmona Hesder Yeshiva and Givat Olga Hesder Yeshiva respectively.[2] Hillel had recently completed his service in the Navy and Yagel was set to start the recruitment process for combat service in the IDF soon.[3]

The attack took place at the Einabus Junction near Huwara on Route 60, which is the only Arab town that Jewish residents of northern Samaria need to drive through to reach their homes. The Israel Defense Forces said a terrorist arrived to the junction and opened fire towards an Israeli vehicle.[0] The alleged shooter fled the area, and the IDF has since launched a manhunt.

On Sunday night, settlers torched Palestinian houses and clashed with Palestinians in and around Huwara. A house in Asira al-Qibliya was also torched by settlers, according to Palestinian reports. Reports from Palestinian media stated that settlers in the vicinity of Salfit hurled stones at Palestinian cars driving in the region.[4]

In response to the attack, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan called on the government to “change the paradigm and move from defense to offense.”[5] He said Israel “cannot be that in the light of day, terrorists allow themselves to shoot innocent civilians.”[6] According to Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, the Israel Police is on the highest alert in order to ensure full operational readiness.[7]

Yoav Gallant, the Defense Minister, commanded the security forces to devote their resources to apprehending the terrorists and to take preventive measures, including preemptive strikes, to stop future assaults.[8] He also gave the okay for temporarily increasing the number of troops in the West Bank to provide better coverage of the region.[8]

This incident comes as tensions are high in the area due to the five-party talks in Jordan on the heels one of the most violent starts to a year in two decades. Data from Palestinian sources suggests that a minimum of 65 Palestinians have been fatally shot by Israelis since the beginning of 2021.[9] Israeli forces are conducting a search for the perpetrator who escaped the scene following the assault.

0. “Two Israelis killed in Samaria terror shooting | JNS | clevelandjewishnews.com” Cleveland Jewish News, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/jns/two-israelis-killed-in-samaria-terror-shooting/article_9723ac02-166f-5cfa-b70f-a351d88802d1.html

1. “BDE: 2 Israelis Murdered In Samaria Shooting Attack” Yid Info, 26 Feb. 2023, https://yidinfo.net/bde-2-israelis-murdered-in-samaria-shooting-attack/

2. “Brothers Aged 16 And 21 Named As Victims Of Deadly West Bank Terror Attack” i24NEWS, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/defense/1677422238-brothers-aged-16-and-21-named-as-victims-of-deadly-west-bank-terror-attack

3. “‘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

4. “Settlers rampage in Huwara, torch homes, cars after terror attack” The Jerusalem Post, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-732775

5. “Terrorists Murder 2 Israelis in Northern Israel, Toll at 13 Killed in Past Month” CBN.com, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2023/february/terrorists-murder-2-israelis-in-northern-israel-toll-at-13-killed-in-past-month

6. “Gunman kills 2 Israelis in West Bank town, in latest shooting amid spate of violence” Forward, 26 Feb. 2023, https://forward.com/fast-forward/537735/gunman-kills-2-israelis-in-west-bank-town-in-latest-shooting-amid-spate-of-violence

7. “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/

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

9. “Israeli settlers set Palestinian town ablaze after deadly shooting” Middle East Eye, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israeli-settlers-set-palestinian-town-ablaze-after-deadly-shooting