Despite continuing intelligence warnings of planned terrorist attacks, the closure imposed on Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) was lifted this morning - with immediate results. Within three hours after the relaxing of restrictions - a "humanitarian" gesture called for by visiting U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell - PA terrorists shot and killed an Israeli motorist north of Ofrah.
Around 6:30 AM, Tzion David of Givat Ze'ev, on his way to work in Har Brachah near Shechem after stopping for morning prayers in Ofrah, was shot at by Arab terrorists. Bullet fragments hit his head, causing him to lose control of the car and crash to his death. A second Israeli vehicle coming in the opposite direction was also hit by gunfire in the attack.
Security and rescue forces arrived quickly at the scene, a kilometer north of Ofrah and very close to where an IDF position stood until recently. The army presence there was removed because of budgetary constraints. "This is, unfortunately, the Palestinian welcome for Colin Powell," said Binyamin Regional Council chief Pinchas Wallerstein, a resident of Ofrah, "and this is what awaits us in the days ahead."
David, 53, was the father of six children - two of them married and the youngest 8 years old - and recently participated in the brit milah (ritual circumcision) of a grandchild. Tzion David's funeral was held this afternoon in Jerusalem.
The area of the murder has been the scene of many Palestinian shooting attacks during the Oslo War, and 14 Jews have been murdered just north of Ofrah, and at least four others just south of Ofrah. The IDF has responded to the recent increase in attacks with periodic, mobile roadblocks.