Three Israeli security officers were shot dead by a Palestinian terrorist at the entrance to the Jerusalem suburb of Har Adar on Tuesday morning.
One victim was identified as St.-Sgt. Solomon Gavria, a 20-year-old member of the Border Police, who had started his mandatory military service only 18 months ago. Gavria leaves behind his parents and three siblings.
The second victim publicly identified was civilian security guard Youssef Ottman, a resident of the neighboring Arab village of Abu Ghosh.
The identity of the third fatality had not yet been published by press time. A fourth Israeli victim was listed in seriously condition following the attack.
The incident occurred during the early morning hours, when a large number of Palestinian laborers show up at the crossing point hoping to find work in the Israeli towns and villages the dot the hills to the west of Jerusalem. The terrorist exploited this normally peaceful crossing.
Identified as a 37-year-old father of four from the Palestinian village of Beit Surik, the terrorist had never before engaged in violence against Israel. As he approached the crossing point, he pulled out a pistol and shot at the Israeli guards. The terrorist himself was quickly shot and killed, but not before claiming multiple victims.
Har Adar, which sits adjacent to the Green Line, and the surrounding towns and villages were noted for years of peaceful coexistence with neighboring Arabs, even during times of widespread terrorism elsewhere in the country.
But this morning’s attack could change all that, many fear. Israeli authorities will now be far more strict in checking Arab workers, inevitably leading to greater frustration, tension and opportunity for violent confrontations.
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