John Kerry, Jen Psaki at right
John Kerry, Jen Psaki at right Reuters

The United States on Sunday condemned the killings of two Israeli soldiers in separate incidents in Judea and Samaria.

"Such violence and terror are unacceptable," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

These types of violent incidents "undermine efforts to establish the positive atmosphere the parties need to progress in peace negotiations," Psaki added in a statement.

"We call on all parties to join in condemning these attacks."

An IDF soldier who was shot in Hevron Sunday night and later died of his wounds. The soldier was identified as 20 year old Gabriel (Gal) Kobi of Tirat Hacarmel.

The attack took place in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood near the Machpelah Cave in the city, at about 6:30 PM. A Magen David Adom crew treated the victim, who was struck a bullet in the neck. He was later taken by helicopter to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.

IDF troops were searching for the perpetrator in the area. The army is investigating the possibility that the attack was carried out by a sharpshooter who hid between buildings in an Arab neighborhood next to the Jewish section of the city, and fired in the direction of Jews.

Fatah's armed wing, the Al Aqsa Brigades, on Sunday took responsibility for the murder of another IDF soldier, Tomer Hazan, on Friday. According to Israeli officials, Nadal Amar, the terrorist who killed Hazan, was not affiliated with any terror group.

Hazan was abducted Friday and murdered in Samaria by Amar, with the motive said by IDF officials to be a plan by the terrorist to trade Hazan's body for the freedom of his brother, a Fatah terrorist who has been in jail in Israel for the last ten years. The soldier went missing Friday, and after a Shin Bet investigation, soldiers descended on the home of Nadal in the village of Bayt Amin.

Hazan had worked together with Amar at a restaurant in Bat Yam. On Friday, Nadal convinced Hazan to take a taxi with him to the Jewish town of Shaare Tikvah in central Samaria, from where both proceeded to Nadal's village. There, Israeli officials said, the IDF soldier was murdered immediately.