Binyamin region shooting attack
Binyamin region shooting attackFlash90

“A.”, an IDF officer, was instrumental in preventing a terrorist attack near the Binyamin community of Neve Tzuf yesterday. IDF soldiers shot dead a terrorist gunman who opened fire on their guard post. The dead terrorist was identified as 19-year-old Mohammad Mubarak from nearby Jalazun.

Speaking to the IDF web site, the officer related how he and two fellow soldiers were attacked without warning.

“We heard shots but didn't know where they were coming from,” A. said. “I thought it was part of an exercise that I had not been informed about, but quickly realized that there was a problem. I immediately called out to other soldiers in the area to find a place to get out of the way of the bullets.”

A. said that he saw the terrorist which was firing at a Nahal Unit vehicle.

“I explained to them what happened and where the terrorist was. Everyone took a role in attempting to capture the terrorist,” he said. At the same time he opened fire at the terrorist, hitting him.

A. said that the incident was a unique one for him, and that the soldiers in the unit had not dealt with similar situations before. 

“We generally deal with terrorist attacks like rock throwing. A shooting attack is a new experience for us,” he said, adding that the soldiers were preparing themselves for the possibility that they would face similar attacks in the future.

Shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians were a common occurrence during the so-called Second Intifada or Terror War waged by Palestinian Arab groups between 2000 and 2005.

Since then, however, IDF counterterrorism operations have largely succeeded in dismantling major terror networks in the region, causing terrorist groups to opt for "lower-level" attacks such as riots, rock-throwing against Israeli cars and stabbing attacks.

Those attacks can be lethal too. Last month, seven Arab youths were indicted for a November rock attack which left a two-year-old Jewish girl fighting for her life. 

But in the last few months, since the start of the US-initiated talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, terrorist groups have stepped up their attempts to commit larger-scale attacks.

Just over a week ago, Israeli security services announced they had broken up an Al Qaeda cell, which had been planning a string of attacks against Israeli Jews, as well as the American embassy in Tel Aviv.