March 19, 2019: Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, 47, was killed in a shooting near the settlement of Ariel in Salfit, in the northern West Bank.
Two Israelis were killed in the attack – one a soldier, the other Rabbie Ettinger, and two other Israelis were wounded.
The soldier who was killed was Lt. Gal Keidan, 19.
The location of the attack is just north of Salfit village, where, four days earlier, invading Israeli forces killed 23-year old Mohammad Jamil Shahin and wounded 40 other Palestinians.
According to Israeli media sources, an unknown Palestinian allegedly arrived at the Ariel Junction checkpoint and stabbed an Israeli soldier, killing him. The assailant then allegedly picked up the soldier’s gun and shot another soldier at the checkpoint.
Israeli sources state that the Palestinian assailant then began firing at Israeli vehicles driving by on the Israeli-only road in front of the settlement.
The assailant then allegedly stole a car of an Israeli settler and drove off carrying the soldier’s gun, arriving a couple minutes later to the Gitai Junction checkpoint.
He then allegedly abandoned the car and fled on foot toward the nearby Palestinian village of Burkin.
According to a report by the Israeli Ynetnews, Rabbi Ettinger was in a car and initially drove past the scene. He then turned his car around and drew his weapon, and was about to fire at the suspect when he was shot in the head. He remained in critical condition until his death two days later on March 19th.
Ettinger was a father of twelve, including one who is currently serving in the Israeli military. Rabbi Ettinger was head of the Oz V’emuna Hesder Yeshiva in southern Tel Aviv.
Following the attack, Israeli forces immediately sealed the area and launched a massive invasion of Burkin, Salfit and other area villages, preventing thousands of Palestinians from leaving their homes, go to work, or conduct their daily lives as the military invasion is in progress.
According to the Yeshiva World newspaper, the Israeli military is using a protocol they call “Pressure Cooker”, which involves Israeli army “payloaders, large armored vehicles, elite forces, the Oketz K9 unit, drones, and a chopper hovering overhead”. The protocol also authorizes the demolition of a building on the assailant, if the Israeli army decides that he is inside.
The Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated that he was sure that the Israeli military would find those responsible for the attack and “bring them to justice as we have in all previous cases.”
Ahiad’s death marks the third Israeli to be killed by a Palestinian in 2019. During that same time period, 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers, including 8 children.
Ahiad was from the illegal West Bank settlement of Eli, constructed on stolen Palestinian land between the cities of Nablus and Ramallah in the central part of the West Bank. Source: IMEMC