(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) A 20-year-old Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier was shot and killed in an apparent Palestinian sniper attack on Sunday.
Staff Sgt. Gal (Gabriel) Kobi was shot in the neck as he stood at the Pharmacy Checkpoint, not far from the Cave of the Patriarchs. He was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, but efforts to save his life proved futile. The attack took place during Sukkot festivities in Hebron, as part of which access to the Cave of the Patriarchs was limited to Jewish worshippers.
Thousands of Jews visited Hebron on Sunday. The IDF deployed significant reinforcements in the area to secure Sukkot-related events. On Sunday evening, violent unrest broke out at one location on the security perimeter. It was during this disturbance that a single bullet was fired from afar at Kobi, who served in the Rotem Battalion of the Givati Brigade. Due to the accuracy of the shot, the IDF believes it was fired by a professional sniper. No bullet was found at the scene.
After the shooting, Israeli security forces scoured Hebron in an effort to find the shooter. A Palestinian security official said the IDF arrested a number of suspects. The search efforts continued Monday, Army Radio reported. By midday, a closure that had been imposed on Hebron was lifted, except in the neighborhood of Jabal Johar.