The decade's most triggering comedy
Batsheva Nigri, a 42-year-old preschool teacher from Beit Hagai in Judea, became the most recent Israeli victim of a terrorist shooting attack while traveling on Route 60 near the city of Hebron on Monday. Her 12-year-old daughter was in the back seat and witnessed the entire attack, miraculously escaping unharmed. The driver of the car, Aryeh Gottlieb, also a resident of Beit Hagai, is in serious condition after receiving multiple gunshot wounds.
Security forces’ initial investigation revealed that the terrorists cut off the victim’s car at an intersection, launched a barrage of over 20 gunshots at close range, and then fled into Hebron. The severely wounded Gottlieb managed to continue driving until he reached a safe place, where he was treated by United Hatzalah, Magen David Edom, and IDF medics. Unfortunately, Nigri was unable to be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene. After a massive manhunt by the IDF, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), and Israel Border Police, two Arabs were arrested on Tuesday after admitting to carrying out the attack. The weapon that was allegedly used was also confiscated.
At a press conference near the scene, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu offered a prayer for the injured and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. He also called out Iran’s involvement in this latest terror wave. “We are in the midst of a terror offensive that is encouraged, planned, and funded by Iran and her satellites. We will fight and win.”
Defense Minister Yoav Galant added, “It is important to understand the significant change that is taking place on the ground; it is related to Iranian funding and to the proliferation of weapons under the Iranian directive. Iran seeks every means to harm the citizens of Israel. We will reach the terrorists, and we will take additional action to ensure the security of Israel’s citizens while exacting a price from those responsible for any harm.”
אנחנו בעיצומה של מתקפת טרור שמכוונת ומעודדת על ידי איראן וגרורותיה. אנחנו נילחם וננצח. pic.twitter.com/yumOWeYQA9
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) August 21, 2023
“The murder of Batsheva Nigri in front of her young daughter in the horrific shooting on Mount Hebron is shocking and heartbreaking,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “These are difficult and painful days for the people of Israel, in which our enemies are working with different means to strike and hurt us. They will not succeed.”
הירצחה של בת שבע נגרי הי"ד לעיני ביתה הקטנה, בפיגוע הירי המחריד בהר חברון, מזעזע וקורע את הלב. אלה ימים קשים וכואבים לעם ישראל, כשאויבינו פועלים באמצעים שונים להכות ולפגוע בנו. הם לא יוכלו לנו.
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) August 21, 2023
The terror attack was the second this week. On Saturday, a father and son were executed by terrorists in Huwara in Samaria, as they waited for their car to be repaired at a local carwash. According to reports, employees at the carwash allegedly alerted the terrorist to the presence of people speaking Hebrew, who approached the victims on foot and shot them from close range. The terrorists involved in that attack have yet to be apprehended.
Hamas officials celebrated the terrorist attacks. “We congratulate the heroic shooter in Huwara, who is the result of our continued promise of resistance to protect our people, respond to the crimes of the occupation, and defend Al-Aqsa mosque from the dangers of the Justification,” said the terrorist organization’s spokesman shortly after the attack.
“We praise the hero who carried out the act in Hebron and the opposition battle that is escalating in the West Bank,” said Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official. Fatah also celebrated the attack, stating that “this operation comes as a natural reaction to the crimes of the occupation and its arrogance.” Pictures circulated online of Arabs handing out candy in celebration of the terror attack.
Pure evil. Palestinians in Gaza already handing out candy, after an Israeli Jewish mother executed in front of her daughter in Hebron drive-by terror shooting! pic.twitter.com/YGn9CC0mMO
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) August 21, 2023
Many Israeli leaders called for more stringent measures to prevent such incidents in the future. MK Michal Woldigger, Deputy Finance Minister, demanded stricter checkpoints in Judea and Samaria, stating that “As long as terrorists move freely in Area C, we will, unfortunately, continue to see attacks and victims.” MK Dan Illouz called on the Government to restore deterrence, insisting that Israel must not wait any longer to take action against terrorism.
כל עוד ינועו מחבלים באופן חופשי בשטחי C, נמשיך לצערי לראות פיגועים וקורבנות. ליבי עם הפצועות והפצועים ומתפללת לבשורות חיוביות.
לממשלה שבה אני חברה אני אומרת: די עם הפקרות המעברים והיעדר המחסומים! pic.twitter.com/2d6Ed3DRLW
— מיכל וולדיגר (@michalwoldiger) August 21, 2023
The Mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and head of the Yesha Council, Shlomo Ne’eman, condemned the attack. “The terrorists act as a result of the hate education and funding from the PA, with the goal of massacring us. The government simply can’t continue down the path of the terrible Oslo agreements.”
The Biden administration expressed its condolences and condemned the attacks on Israelis, yet quickly equated Palestinian terrorist attacks with alleged settler violence. “The US remains deeply concerned by violence in the West Bank and Israel, and we express our condolences to those killed,” said US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “We strongly condemn Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, including this morning’s shooting attack near Hebron. We strongly condemn the terror attacks by settlers in Burqa on August 4 that killed a 19-year-old Palestinian. Both Israelis and Palestinians must take immediate steps to de-escalate and restore calm,” adding that Israeli and Palestinian security forces should increase their cooperation.
Thomas-Greenfield was referring to an incident outside the village of Burqa that led to the shooting death of Qusai Jamal Ma’atan, 19, by an Israeli whose skull was fractured when he was hit in the head with a rock. The Israeli claimed that the shooting was in self-defense, as he was attacked while herding sheep. The incident is currently being investigated by Israeli police, who have yet to determine whether the shooting was justified. Yet, without waiting for the results of the investigation, the Biden Administration quickly branded the incident a terror attack.
This year has already seen the most terrorist attacks against Israelis since the second Intifada, according to Yediot Acharonot military correspondent Yossi Yehoshua, who noted that since the beginning of 2023, 34 Israelis have been murdered in terrorist attacks, while “the total for 2022 was 33.”