Three boys and a father sustained injuries when a large number of Palestinians surrounded the group of children on a bar mitzvah hike in Samaria; pelting them with rocks, causing a guard to protect the children by opening fire.
By Efrat Forsher, Daniel Siryoti, Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom Staff
A Jewish hiker shot and killed a Palestinian in a grave incident on Thursday, as the shooter accompanied a group of children on a hike in Samaria marking one of the hikers’ bar mitzvah celebration.
A large number of Palestinians surrounded the group of hikers, approaching them and throwing rocks. Three boys sustained minor injuries in the altercation.
A parent of one of the hikers, who accompanied the group and was carrying a weapon for safety reasons, felt threatened and fired. One of the Palestinian assailants was critically wounded in the incident, and was ultimately declared dead after failed resuscitation efforts.
The children fled to a nearby cave and waited to be rescued by Israeli security forces. When the troops arrived, they administered first aid to the wounded and dispersed the Palestinians. Finally, the hikers were rescued and evacuated.
“The hike was coordinated with the Samaria Brigade in advance,” said one area official. “It was approved by security forces on the terms that two parents accompanied the group and were armed. The moment they were surrounded by Palestinians, they quickly called for help, but before the forces arrived they felt they were in mortal danger and one of the guards had to fire warning shots, followed by fire at the aggressors.”
One of the parents described the incident, saying, “We are parents to children. We were caught off guard in the open area by dozens of Arabs who were hurling rocks and boulders at us. We had to fire into the air in self-defense. During the incident, my gun was snatched by one of the Arabs. Our lives were completely in danger, and the children fled to the cave. We did everything we could to protect ourselves and the children.”
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