A terrorist opened fire at a car on Route 60 in the Arab village of Huwara, just outside Nablus, on Sunday, seriously injuring a 41-year-old man.
The victim has been identified as David Stern, a dual Israel-U.S. citizen from Itamar and a trainer of fast-response defense units made up of Jewish residents in Samaria. He served in the U.S. Marines Corps and is a martial arts expert, having trained in Japan.
Stern is in stable condition at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. “He hit the terrorist. He shot him. The pictures of the bullets you see are bullets he fired, not the terrorist,” said a source at the hospital.
“He hit the terrorist and thanks to that, they were able to catch the terrorist. The wounded man is admittedly in pain and sedated, but, thank God, he is in good condition.”
David Stern served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Credit: Itamar Development Foundation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday evening, “I am praying for the wounded hero injured in the attack in Huwara, who was able to neutralize the terrorist. I send my support to the security forces operating in the area. I reiterate: Anyone trying to harm the citizens of Israel will pay the price.”
Stern’s wife, 35, suffered from shock and was also taken to Beilinson Hospital.
It was initially mistakenly reported that their three children were with them in the car.
Israeli security forces pursued and captured the terrorist. He was transferred to security forces for further questioning, the IDF reported.
The terrorist has been identified as Leith Nazar, 28, a resident of the village of Madama near Nablus (biblical Shechem).
Magen David Adom paramedic Moshe Meir Shimon said: “We provided medical treatment to a man in his 30s who was seriously injured by a gunshot to his upper body and to a woman who was suffering from shock. We quickly transferred them to the ambulances and evacuated them to the hospital as the man’s condition is serious.”
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, said at the scene of the attack: “Stop behaving like the previous government that neglected security with its inaction. I call on and demand from the prime minister, the minister of defense and all their fellow ministers in the government: It is the turn of the IDF to launch a military operation against the terrorist [Palestinian] Authority.”
Terrorist groups praised the attack.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said, “We welcome the commando operation in Huwara and confirm that it is a natural response to Israel’s crimes in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”
Islamic Jihad said that “this is a natural and legitimate response to Israel’s crimes, the latest of which was today in Damascus and two days ago in Jenin.”
In the Arab village of Beita near Nablus, sweets were handed out to celebrate the attack.
Three weeks ago, brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, were killed in Huwara in a shooting attack while sitting in their car at the same junction on the highway that runs through the village.
According to a public opinion poll conducted earlier this month, 71% of Palestinians support the murder of the Yanivs, with only 21% of those surveyed saying they were against the attack.
The terrorist who carried out that attack, Hamas member Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha, was killed by IDF soldiers on March 7.
He had been released from an Israeli jail months earlier.