Deadly Hamas-linked attack at West Bank petrol station claims four lives, injures four

On Tuesday afternoon, four Israelis lost their lives and another four were left injured when Hamas-associated Palestinian gunmen initiated a deadly assault at a petrol station in the West Bank. This information was confirmed by both the Israeli military and healthcare services.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that the incident, involving two armed assailants, occurred at a petrol station and an adjoining hummus eatery near the Eli settlement. A local Israeli civilian armed and present at the scene neutralised one of the attackers, whilst the second gunman managed to escape, only to be killed two hours later by special forces.

The emergency medical services of the Magen David Adom confirmed that they had attended to eight Israelis at the scene. While four individuals were pronounced dead, the remaining victims were transported to hospitals within Israel. Of these, one is in a serious condition, two are moderate, and one is stable.

Post-attack, Eli residents were instructed by the military to stay indoors and secure their homes while the area was swept by troops. After approximately 90 minutes, the alert was lifted.

The initial IDF investigation revealed that the assailants arrived at the petrol station in a car, initially focusing their assault rifle attack on customers at the adjacent Hummus Eliyahu restaurant before turning their attention to the petrol station. After an armed civilian neutralised one of the attackers, the remaining gunman commandeered a vehicle left running by one of the victims and fled.

Local security officials also reported discovering several knives in the attackers’ abandoned vehicle.

The victims of this deadly assault were identified by Tuesday evening as Harel Masood, 21, from Yad Binyamin; Elisha Anteman, 17, and Ofer Fayerman, 64, both from Eli; and Shmuel Mordoff, 17, from the Ahiya settlement.

The first attacker, killed at the scene, was identified by Palestinian media outlets as Muhannad Faleh, 26, from the village of Urif in the Nablus region.

Two hours later, Israeli forces tracked down the second fleeing gunman. The Shin Bet security agency reported that the elite Yamam counterterrorism police unit found the stolen vehicle abandoned near Tubas, a Palestinian town. Inside was an assault rifle used in the attack. The gunman was later located in a taxi within Tubas and neutralised by special forces.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry confirmed the second gunman’s death. He was identified in media reports as Khaled Mustafa Sabah, also from Urif.

Hamas has acknowledged Faleh and Sabah as members, though it stopped short of claiming responsibility for the assault. Hamas expressed that the attack was a response to perceived Israeli aggression against Nablus, Jenin, and the “blessed al-Aqsa Mosque”.

Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, visited the scene of the attack, holding discussions with senior officers. Following this, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, IDF spokesman, announced that Halevi had directed a strengthening of the region with more forces, sanctioned the demolition of Palestinian terrorists’ homes, and called for more arrests in the area.

This latest incident comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians over the past year, punctuated by nearly daily military raids in the West Bank and a series of lethal Palestinian attacks.

Image Credit: Akivapath at English Wikipedia