Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, 28, and Ziv Hajbi, 35, were the victims of the Palestinian terror attack in Samaria.
The Israelis killed in a Palestinian terror attack on Sunday at the Barkan Industrial Park , (close to the town of Ariel in northern Samaria) were identified as Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, 28 of Rosh Ha’ayin, and Ziv Hajbi, 35 from Rishon Letzion.
Levengrond- Yehezkel was the mother of a year-and-a-half old baby boy. She began working at the site a year ago. She last saw her baby when she left him off at the daycare center Sunday morning. She is survived by her husband Gai, her baby boy Kai, her parents and her sister Shahar.
Hajbi, a father of three children, was the second person killed in the attack. His family decided to donate his organs to others.
A third victim, a 54-year-old woman, is being treated in Beilinson hospital for her wounds. She is said to be in a non-life threatening and stable condition.
The terrorist, reportedly a 23-year-old accountant from a Palestinian village near Tulkarem, fled the scene with an automatic weapon. Israeli security forces have launched a manhunt for him. He is described as armed and dangerous.
At the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the incident was “a very severe terrorist attack in which two Israelis were brutally murdered.”
“On behalf of myself and all government ministers I would like to send condolences to the families of the two people who were murdered and our hopes and prayers for a swift recovery for the woman who was wounded,” he added.
“The security forces are in pursuit of the reprehensible murderer. I am certain that they will apprehend him and I am also certain that we will deal with him to the fullest extent of the law and quickly,” he said.
The terrorist attack reportedly took place in management offices in one of the factories. Security footage released from cameras at the factory shows the shooter fleeing the site holding an automatic rifle. The deceased female victim was bound with plastic cable ties.
The industrial zone is known as a place where Israelis and Arabs work together in coexistence, and this is the first such attack in the zone. According to a statement from the IDF, the terrorist had a permit to work in the park and had been employed at the factory where the shooting took place.
According to initial reports, the suspect, a 23-year-old Palestinian from the village of Shweika near Tulkarem, who fled the scene, had been fired by the Alon Metal factory, leading to speculation that the attack was a revenge killing. However, the IDF later clarified that it was a terrorist attack, although he may have had other motives.
Later in the day, the Palestinian branch of Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack. It claimed that it was “a response to Israel’s crimes in Gaza, Jerusalem, Khan al-Ahmar and al-Aqsa.”
A spokesperson for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement said: “We call upon our people to rise up against the settlement terror until they are evacuated, and the West Bank is freed of settlements and settlers.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that “the IDF and security forces are conducting a wide scale search for the terrorist … it is only a matter of time before we lay our hands on him.”
By: Jack Gold
(WIN & TPS)