A Palestinian terrorist shot and killed two Israelis on Saturday in Huwara, located just outside Nablus (biblical Shechem) in Samaria.
The victims, Shay Silas Nigrekar, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, were residents of Ashdod.
Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel treated the two men for gunshot wounds. They were both soon pronounced dead at the scene.
Their funerals are expected to take place in Ashdod on Sunday.
The Israel Defense Forces launched a manhunt for the terrorist and set up roadblocks in the area.
The attack took place after the two men had stopped at a car wash in the Palestinian Authority-controlled village.
According to reports, the terrorist walked up to the car wash on foot, opened fire at close range with a handgun and fled the scene in a vehicle.
According to the preliminary investigation, the Negrikars had spent several hours in Huwara, apparently running errands.
“I send my condolences to the family of the two people who were murdered, a father and son, whose lives were cut short in such a brutal and abhorrent manner, over Shabbat,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night.
“The security forces are redoubling their efforts to apprehend the murderer and settle accounts with him, just as we have done with all murderers until now.”
The United States “unequivocally” condemned the terror attack.
“The United States expresses its condolences to their families and calls for immediate steps to end the violence and incitement to violence,” the State Department said in a statement.
Hamas praised the “heroic” attack, which the Gaza Strip-based terror group described as a result of “the firm promise by the resistance to defend our [Palestinian] people, respond to the crimes of the occupation and protect the Al-Aqsa mosque from the danger of Judaization.”
Social media images showed Hamas and other terrorist activists passing out candies and sweets to Palestinian Arabs, including young children, in Samaria and the Gaza Strip to celebrate the terrorist murder of the two Israeli Jews.
A Palestinian in Khan Yunis distributes sweets following the murder of two Israelis in the West Bank town of Huwara on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/1KhunpR241
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) August 20, 2023
Huwara has emerged as a center of Palestinian terrorism, prompting Israeli authorities to heighten security.
The IDF recently upgraded the road infrastructure in Huwara to increase security for drivers on Route 60, the main north-south highway in Samaria that passes through the village, as an interim step until a bypass road can be completed.
The changes followed a series of terrorist attacks, including the murder of brothers Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, as they sat in traffic on Feb. 26.
Seventy-one percent of Palestinians supported the terrorist murder of the brothers, according to a public opinion poll. Only 21% of those surveyed were against the attack.
Dual Israeli-US citizen David Stern, 41, narrowly survived a shooting attack on March 19 as he drove through Huwara with his wife on their way to Jerusalem.
In addition to the infrastructure changes, a large number of IDF soldiers have been deployed to the area and 13 new defensive positions were built to discourage attacks and to reduce security forces’ response times.
The IDF’s Samaria Brigade has also bolstered security inspections, including the deployment of additional checkpoint barriers.
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