November 16, 2002

12 Israelis Killed in Sabbath Eve attack in Hebron
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

Three Islamic Jihad terrorists lay ambush on route taken by Jewish worshippers.

Twelve Israelis were killed and 14 were wounded by Islamic Jihad terrorists who fired on security forces guarding Jewish worshippers on the route leading from the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron to Kiryat Araba.

The dead among the security sources include two IDF officers and two soldiers, a border police officer and four border policemen.

Among the security forces wounded are an IDF officer, seriously wounded, two border policemen, moderately wounded, and eight soldiers, lightly wounded. The families have been notified.

The terrorists lay in wait on the road which Jewish worshippers took returning from Friday evening prayers, and opened fire at a border police jeep which was guarding the civilians. One border policeman was killed instantly and another, who was seriously wounded, later died of his wounds.

At the same time, the terrorist fired on the entrance gate to Kiryat Arba.

Security forces and the civilian guard of the community arrived at the scene, and engaged the terrorists. During the encounter the terrorists also threw hand grenades.

During the gun battle, in which the terrorists also used grenades, four IDF servicemen, three border policemen and three civilians were killed; one of the terrorists was also killed. The gun battle took place in a built up area and the Israeli forces had to rescue wounded under fire, with terrorists shooting at medics and rescue workers.

More forces arrived at the scene, pursuing two of the terrorists, and killing them. On the terrorists bodies an M16 rifles and many cartridges.

As a result of the attack, the IDF is deployed throughout Hebron in order to provide security for Israelis and to act against the terrorist infrastructure.

It should be noted that the terrorists chose to carry out this attack during the month of Ramadan. The IDF made great efforts to ease the situation for the Palestinians living in Hebron, especially during tRamadan. On October 25 the IDF redeployed in the city, leaving most of the points it had taken up in the Abu Sneineh neighborhood, to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian population.

This attack took place on Sabbath eve, in an important religious area, underscoring the cruel character of Palestinian terrorists, who kill Israelis without distinction.

The IDF will act against Palestinian terror with all means at its disposal to ensure the security the citizens of Israel and the security forces.