Shlomo Gil, ZAKA spokesman, March 15, 2009
Efrat Weiss for Ynet, March 15, 2009
The scene of the attack, near the community of Masua in the central Jordan Valley
(Photo courtesy of Shlomo Gil, ZAKA spokesman, March 15, 2009).
1. At about 20:00 hours on March 15 two Israeli policemen were shot and killed in a terrorist attack on the Jordan Valley road near the community of Masua. The two, David Rabinowitz, 42, from the town of Rosh Haayin , and Yehezkel Ramzarkar, 50, from town of Maaleh Ephraim , stopped their car to help a car stuck on the side of the road. The terrorists, who pretended they were fixing a flat tire, shot the policemen at close range and fled the scene. One died immediately and the other after attempts made by a rescue team to resuscitate him failed.
2. The IDF declared the area a closed military zone and imposed a partial closure on the city of Jericho , south of the scene of the attack. So far, the identity of the organization behind the attack is unknown. A fictitious group calling itself the "Imad Moughnieh Squads” claimed responsibility, apparently falsely (Qudsnet website, March 15, 2009 ).
Jack left at the scene of the crime may have been used by the terrorists to
make the situation look genuine (Efrat Weiss for Ynet, March 15, 2009).
|Warrant officer David Rabinowitz||Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Yehezkel Ramzarkar|
(Israel Police website, March 16, 2009)
Previous attacks on the Jordan Valley road
3. The north-south road running through the Jordan Valley (Route 90) joins the Dead Sea to the city of Beit Shean , and has been the scene of terrorist attacks since the beginning of the current Palestinian terrorist campaign ( intifada ). The last fatal terrorist attack was carried out on September 24, 2001 in the northern part of the road near the Arab village of Bardala , which is located in Area B (under Israeli security control). It resulted in the death of an Israeli woman and the wounding of her husband. The terrorists were waiting in a parked car near the village, and when the Israeli vehicle approached they opened fire with automatic weapons. They then drove to the town of Tubas , northeast of Nablus , in the area under Palestinian Authority control. Since 2003, when one shooting attack was carried out on the road, there have been no further such attacks in the area.
Shooting attacks by Palestinian terrorist organizations
4. During the current Palestinian terrorist campaign the terrorist organizations have adopted the tactic of carrying out shooting attacks along roads , both drive-by shootings and shooting from parked vehicles. Some of the attacks resulted in deaths. In October 2007 the members of a terrorist squad belonging to Hamas’s military-terrorist wing in Nablus was detained. They had carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israeli targets in the city of Nablus and in the surrounding area. 1 Among them were one near the community of Migdalim 2 in January 2005, in which two IDF soldiers were killed, and one near the Ariel junction 3 on October 24, 2007 , in which an IDF soldier and Israeli civilian were wounded.
5. The last shooting attack carried out on a public road was on January 19, 2009 , when terrorists opened fire on a passing vehicle near the community of Kokhav Hashahar, east of Ramallah , critically wounding an Israeli civilian. The victim’s wife, who was not injured, took the wheel and drove away. On February 18, 2009 IDF soldiers prevented an attack when they saw two armed Palestinians near the village of Beit Dajan , southeast of Nablus . Arriving at the scene they found rocks blocking the road leading to the community of Alon Moreh, and saw the two armed Palestinians fleeing. The soldiers pursued and detained them, and found they were carrying two improvised weapons and a Molotov cocktail ready for throwing.
1 For further information see our December 26, 2007 bulletin entitled " Nablus continues the focus for terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria .”
2 On January 7 a terrorist squad disguised in IDF uniforms stopped an Israeli vehicle near the community of Migdalim. The terrorists then opened fire at close range, killing the driver, an IDF soldier. Another soldier was critically wounded and died from his wounds nine months later. Two other soldiers sustained minor injuries.
3 On the afternoon of October 24 Palestinian terrorists carried out a drive-by shooting targeting Israelis who were waiting at a bus stop near the city of Ariel . An IDF soldier was critically wounded and a civilian sustained minor injuries.