Israeli police: Two killed, one wounded in West Bank factory shooting

Two Israelis died and another person was wounded in a shooting Sunday morning at a factory in the West Bank.

Israeli drivers wait to enter the Barkan industrial area Sunday after Israeli security forces closed the site near the Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Two Israeli were killed and another was wounded at a factory in the industrial zone. Photo by Alaa Badarneh/EPA
Israeli drivers wait to enter the Barkan industrial area Sunday after Israeli security forces closed the site near the Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Two Israeli were killed and another was wounded at a factory in the industrial zone. Photo by Alaa Badarneh/EPA

The suspect is a Palestinian man in his 20s and a widespread manhunt is underway, according to the Israeli security force. “It’s a matter of time until we get our hands on him,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said to Haaretz.
The shooter was an employee of the Barkan factory possibly seeking revenge against his former workplace. Entering the factory near the city of Ariel, he opened fire on the employees.

Police reports said he had been fired but employees at the factory claim that the assailant had only been working there for four months, he wasn’t dismissed and hadn’t been at work in the past couple of weeks.

“He must have planned it in this time,” one employee told Haaretz. “We work here based on trust, I believe in coexistence but someone like this ruins everything you build. Palestinian employees are confused too,” the man added.

Local media described the suspect as 23-year-old Palestinian man from Shuwaikah, a town in northern Tulkerem in the West Bank, according to Al Jazeera.

Killed were a 35-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman. A 54-year-old woman is hospitalized reportedly in moderate condition.

The shooting was described as “a serious terror attack” by Ronen Manelis, the Israeli army’s spokesman.

During a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “sure we will bring the terrorist to justice soon.”

President Reuven Rivlin said after the attack: “This was not only an attack on innocent people going about their daily lives, it was also an attack on the possibility of Israelis and Palestinians co-existing peacefully. I call on the Palestinian leadership to condemn this murderous attack and to use the forces at their disposal to capture the terrorist and those who aided him.”

Hamas said in a statement: “The attack in Barkan is a new chapter in the struggle of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and a message to the young people of the West Bank and Gaza who are under siege.”

The Islamic Jihad organization congratulated the shooter, writing: “The attack in the area of Ariel is a natural response to the crimes of the occupation in Gaza, Jerusalem and Khan al-Ahmar and against those who hurt children. It’s a response who those who oppose the occupation and the continued damage inflicted on Palestinians. [Israel] shouldn’t expect such events to take place with on reaction.”

The Barkan industrial area is one of 14 established in 1982 that Israel set up beyond the Green Line on confiscated Palestinian land. It houses more than 130 factories and companies.

“There are more than 8,000 employees in this industrial area, half of which are Jewish and half of which are Arab,” Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, said to Haaretz. “I see here Arabs and Jews who are sitting together and crying. We will never break down. The Zionist project in Samaria, as well as everywhere else in the State of Israel, will continue in full force.”

 

ByAllen Cone