(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, GOC of the IDF Central Command, has conducted an initial investigation of the incident this morning (2 February) in which a Palestinian gunman opened fire at an IDF patrol force near the Community Yatir, south of Hebron.

As a result of the investigation, the Central Command assumes that the terrorist, who was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, a 9 millimeter handgun and five matching ammunition clips, was intending to execute a terror attack against Israeli civilians. The area of the incident is used as an illegal route into Israel for both terrorist activity and for illegal infiltrators. The terrorist who executed a suicide attack in Dimona on February 4, 2008 infiltrated into Israel via the same route.

The investigation of the incident showed that an IDF force patrolling the region noticed a vehicle driving off road, in what they suspected could be an attempt to cross into Israel. The force instructed the vehicle to halt and when it failed to do so, fired a number of warning shots in the air. The gunman stopped their vehicle and began firing directly at the soldiers. The force responded by firing back and identifying a hit. The assault rifle, handgun and ammunition were discovered during searches of the area that followed the incident.

Maj. Gen. Shamni praised the soldiers involved in the incident for their actions.