gush etzion terror attack

Security forces and rescue personnel at the scene of a drive-by shooting in Gush Etzion. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

A Palestinian terrorist shot and murdered three people and wounded several more in Gush Etzion Thursday.

A Palestinian terrorist murdered two Israelis and one Palestinian and injured seven others in the Gush Etzion region of Judea and Samaria late Thursday afternoon.

Israeli medical services reported that of the seven wounded, three are in critical condition, two were hurt seriously and two moderately. All of the victims were evacuated to hospitals in Jerusalem.

One of the wounded was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident began when a terrorist sitting in a car fired with an Uzi sub-machine gun at Israeli motorists at the junction just outside the community of Alon Shvut, wounding several of them as they sat trapped in rush-hour traffic.

gush etzion terror attack

Young Israelis react to the drive-by shooting attack Thursday in Gush Etzion. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

The terrorist subsequently lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a nearby Israeli car, lightly wounding its passengers. He was then overpowered and subdued by other Israelis at the scene, and arrested by security forces.

One of the victims was an 18-year-old American on a combined volunteer-study program at Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh. Ezra Yehiel Schwartz, a Boston native, was in the area bringing food to IDF soldiers stationed nearby.

Another victim was identified as Ya’akov Don, 49, a father of four and a popular teacher at a local high school. His parents were Holocaust survivors.

The third victim, Shadi Arafa, 40, is a Palestinian from Hebron.

Gush Etzion has been the site of multiple attacks in the current wave of Palestinian terror that began two months ago, which claimed 19 victims and wounded 175, as well as earlier on in 2014.

The Thursday attack occurred just hours after a Palestinian terrorist stabbed three Israelis in Tel Aviv, who had just exited from prayer services at a synagogue. Two of the victims died.

In wake of the two deadly attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security consultation with IDF, Israel Police and Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) officers and officials.

Among the issues discussed was a course of action in the Hebron area, where most of the terrorists live, as well as steps against Israelis who illegally employ or aid Palestinians in Israel, thus exposing citizens to threat of terror.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel