Eli settlement committee Chairman Ariel Elmaliach
Eli settlement committee Chairman Ariel ElmaliachHezki Baruch

Eli settlement committee Chairman Ariel Elmaliach spoke with Arutz Sheva about how the community was coping with the attack on Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, a resident of the town, in the attack that took place this morning in the Ariel area.

Rabbi Ettinger, 47, a father of 12 from Eli, was listed in critical condition after being shot during one of the two attacks in Samaria Sunday morning. During the attacks, 19-year-old IDF sergeant Gal Keidan was killed, and a second IDF soldier seriously wounded.

"I hope that with the help of God he'll come out of it, he'll regain his strength and will continue to be part of the public landscape here in the community," Elmaliach said.

"Rabbi Ahiad is married to Tamar, they have 12 children," Elmaliach says. "We have a whole neighborhood here that enjoys a personal relationship with him, accompanying them, supporting. He is the head of the Kollel in the hesder yeshiva in Tel Aviv, and I hope that thanks to his great efforts, his condition will stabilize and he will return to us."

Regarding how the community is dealing with the shocking news, Elmaliach says, "We're with the family in their home now, we've updated all the close circles, the frameworks, the schools, the educational systems, we're accompanying the family to the hospital."

Later, Elmaliach noted the security deterioration. "In the last few weeks, we witnessed three shooting incidents, the last of which was fatal, and this morning's. Luckily, the previous incidents ended with a miracle, people weren't killed. The attack could have been prevented. I don't know if it is the same unit, but if we understood we were dealing with a ticking time bomb it wouldn't have happened. It must stop.

"I expect the Prime Minister to declare Eli a regular town, and if they destroy, we need to build another floor. This is our expectation and I hope we will never hear of such terrible attacks again," Elmaliach concluded.

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