Joined: 09 Sep 2006
|Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:57 pm Post subject: Two Israeli policemen die in West Bank shooting
|Two Israeli policemen die in West Bank shooting
~By Jonathan Lis and Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondents Last update -
An anonymous caller speaking on behalf of an organization called the "Imad
Mughniyeh Group" on early Monday claimed responsibility for the shooting
attack that killed two Israel Police officers.
The caller spoke to French news agency, AFP, Israel Radio reported.
The group is named after a Hezbollah commander who was killed by a car bomb
in Damascus in February 2008 that was blamed on Israel. It denied
The two police officers died Sunday evening from gunshot wounds sustained
while on patrol near the settlement of Masu'a, in the northern West Bank.
Both victims were found in their vehicle suffering from critical gunshot
wounds. One was pronounced dead by medics shortly after being discovered,
and the other succumbed to his wounds following resuscitation efforts.
The slain policemen were later identified as David Rabinowitz and Yehezkel
Police and rescue services were notified shortly after 8 P.M. of an apparent
car accident near the Masu'a settlement and of a shooting attack in the same
area. Officers who arrived on the scene found the overturned patrol car and
the victims inside.
An Israel Police spokesman said the circumstances of the incident were still
being investigated, although the main line of inquiry being pursued was that
the two had been shot by one or more Palestinian gunmen.
According to an initial investigation, militants opened fire on the patrol
car at close-range, causing the officers to lose control of the vehicle.
Police are also investigating the possibility that the attacker or attackers
staged a flat tire and then shot the officers at close range when they
stopped to help.
"The two had been killed by gunshots and the main suspicion points to a
nationalistic motive," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Masu'a is located in the Jordan Valley, just southeast of Nablus and near
the major West Bank settlement of Ariel.
Two police officers were lightly wounded in Jerusalem 10 days ago when an
Arab bulldozer driver overturned their vehicle and rammed it into a bus,
before being shot by police and a taxi driver. The attacker later died of
Last Wednesday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian youth and
wounded another after firebombs were thrown at their vehicle in the West
In January, a 34-year-old resident of the West Bank settlement of Kochav
Hashahar was seriously wounded when a gunman opened fire on his car on the
highway near the settlement. Moshe Avitan, who was driving at the time,
suffered wounds to his face from the shooting.
Israel has transferred some security control to Palestinian security forces
in West Bank towns but controls much of the traffic that travels through the
areas at checkpoints in territory.
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