EXCLUSIVE – Fatah, Hamas Fight to Take Credit for West Bank Attack Targeting Jews

Israeli security forces stand guard at the scene where three Palestinians carried out two attacks -- a shooting and a car ramming -- on Israelis at the entrance of the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba in the southern occupied West Bank before they were shot dead on March 14, 2016.

TEL AVIV – Fatah and Hamas have been engaged in a media war over the perpetrator of Monday’s car-ramming attack in the West Bank that left three Israeli soldiers lightly wounded. Both groups are claiming the attacker as a member.

Fatah featured the following message on its official Facebook page: “The movement proudly bids farewell to the honorable martyr Yusef Traira who gave his life for his country.” On billboards across the West Bank, posters were put up saying, “Fatah congratulates its brave martyr Yusef Traira, who committed the heroic attack in [the settlement of] Kiryat Arba,” claiming that he was a member of the organization’s youth movement.

Hamas, however, also claimed responsibility for the attack and released a communique saying Traira was a member: “Hamas laments the departure of its son, the martyr fighter Yusef Traira, who fell during his heroic attack in Kiryat Arba.”

Traira, 18, was one of three terrorists who carried out attacks and attempted attacks on Monday near Kiryat Arba, close to the ancient city of Hebron. All three terrorists were shot dead by the army.

The Jerusalem Post reported:

The first attack began when two armed terrorists in a Palestinian vehicle entered Kiryat Arba, made a U-turn, and came to a sudden stop. The gunmen exited their vehicle and opened fire at security personnel, lightly injuring a Nahal brigade soldier. The attackers were shot dead in IDF return fire.

Soon afterwards, a Palestinian vehicle traveling from Bnei Naim rammed a bus in the same area near Kiryat Arba. An IDF soldier who was near the bus narrowly escaped injury. As the terrorist attempted to exit the vehicle, soldiers on the scene shot him dead. Two additional soldiers were lightly wounded from shrapnel from the car ramming attack, and received treatment on the spot from army medics.

Traira carried out the third attack, which targeted the bus.


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