Thirty-one-year-old, Evyatar Borowsky, a father of five, was killed by a knife-wielding Palestinian at a hitchhiking post in Samaria Tuesday morning. Israeli media report that his attacker approached Borowsky from behind, and then proceeded to stab him. The attacker grabbed Borowsky's handgun, which he used to fire on nearby border police, who fired back and thus subdued him.
Though there have been reports in recent months of increased attacks on Israelis using rocks and Molotov cocktails, Borowsky is the first Israeli killed in Judea and Samaria, that is, the West Bank, in more than a year.
Rabbi Chaim Goldberg who heads a Jewish seminary in Kedumim witnessed the attack. He tells the Tazpit News Agency that he saw mayhem as he approached the scene Tuesday morning.
"I saw three young women jump into the street. I then heard shots fired. I noticed a person who was lying on the ground get up with a gun in his hand. I slowed down and ducked so he wouldn't see me," Goldberg said.
"I then called the emergency center to notify them about the incident. I now understand that the terrorist nabbed the gun from the Jew he murdered and I was the first target he saw," he added.
Chillingly, he says that several bullets hit his vehicle.
Paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but Borowsky was declared dead on the scene, while his attacker was taken to an Israeli hospital
Israeli forces fanned out on Tuesday after Jewish settlers began rioting and attacking Palestinians in retaliation for the murder which took place at the Tapuah junction.
The Times of Israel quotes Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council head Gershon Mesika who is blaming Israeli security forces for being too complacent as rock attacks have increased.
"This despicable murder is a direct result of the impotence in the face of rock-throwing, the removal of roadblocks, and the continued treatment of terror attacks as 'disorderly conduct,'" Mesika said.
"The IDF and security establishment must internalize the fact that terror kills. The government has to get with the program and acknowledge that terrorism is terrorism," he added.
But Israeli Defense Forces Spokesman Captain Barak Raz told the Jerusalem Post, "This reminds us that even in times of relative calm, the alertness and quick response by security forces is very necessary. We are working 24 hours a day to maintain this stability."
Palestinian sources tell Ynet that the suspect in the killing is a Fatah operative named Salam Za'al, 24, who previously served three years in Israeli prison for stone-throwing. While he was released about six months ago, his brother was convicted and sentenced by the Palestinian Authority on Monday to serve time in prison for allegedly collaborating with Israel.
Ynet reports, "The security establishment is looking into the possibility that the terror attack was an attempt to prove that the family has not collaborated with Israel and 'clear its name.'"
Ynet describes the reaction of some settlers:
A bus carrying Palestinian schoolgirls was attacked with stones, and its windshield was shattered. The driver was injured and evacuated to a hospital.
Settlers also entered the Palestinian village of Urif, torched structures, threw rocks and injured at least one local. Seven settlers have been arrested so far on suspicion of rioting.
During the violence, a Palestinian truck was also stoned, and fields near the Palestinian villages of Burin and Madama were set ablaze. The security establishment is preparing for the possibility that settler riots in the area will continue following Borovsky's murder. Large forces have been deployed in the region to quell the violence.
The Tapuah junction, near the city of Ariel, has seen several attacks against settlers and IDF soldiers in recent years.
The Times of Israel reports that a Palestinian stabbed a teenager there in January. In May, five Palestinian were arrested over several weeks carrying pipe bombs, pistol, ammunition and Molotov cocktails. And three years ago an Israeli soldier was stabbed to death in that location.
The Jewish Press reports, "There have been 4 terror attempts at this junction in the past month alone."
According to the Tazpit News Agency, a nearby IDF checkpoint was removed a few months ago.
Israel National News reports that Borowsky lived in the settlement Yitzhar near Nablus, worked as an actor and was involved in the field of therapeutic psychodrama, which via role-playing helps people overcome their traumatic experiences. A father of five, Borowsky's oldest child is seven, according to Israel National News.
His father, Baruch Borowsky, told Army Radio that Evyatar was currently enrolled in a "medical clowning" course, whose graduates help raise the spirits of hospitalized children.
"He was a righteous man," the elder Borowsky said of his son.
Here is a report on the incident from Israel National TV:
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