Jerusalem - As IDF Continues Investigating, First Responder To Henkin Tragedy Describes Initial Moments After Horrific Attack
Jerusalem - The first rescuer to reach the bullet ridden vehicle carrying the Henkin family told Israeli news site Walla that it was immediately apparent that the murder of two parents in front of their four children was an act of terror.
“I was driving from Itamar to Elon Moreh and when I reached the Beit Furik intersection I saw a vehicle opposite me,” said off duty medic Zvi Goren. “It’s headlights were on and its blinkers were flashing and I realized right away that there was something suspicious.”
As Goren got closer to the Henkin’s car, he saw another vehicle with flashing lights and a man carrying an M16 who turned out to be a friend. Goren estimated that he and his friend came upon the car just minutes after the attack and that neither saw any of the shooters.
“I asked him what had happened and he told me there had been an attack and that there were children in the back seat,” said Goren.
Surveying the situation, Goren said it was clear that both adults had been gravely injured. As Goren’s friend guarded the scene with his M16, Goren put the four children into his vehicle.
“The oldest child was crying, ‘They killed my parents, they killed my parents,’” said Goren. “I called the army. I called the medics. And meanwhile there are four children in the back seat of my car crying.”
Concerned about the possibility of additional danger in the area, Goren took the children to the nearby settlement of Itamar where they were checked out by medical personnel before being taken home by a local resident.
“They told us their family name and what settlement they were from,” said Goren. “People who spoke with the children said that the oldest, a nine year old boy, saw the shooter. According to news reports, the shooter went over to the car to confirm the deaths so it seems logical that the boy would have seen him.”
Hours after the shooting spree the Israeli army is continuing to investigate the attack to determine if it was premeditated or a drive by shooting and whether the shooter actually confirmed the killings. A senior IDF official said that Israeli intelligence is focusing on the murders and no decisions have been made yet on any punitive actions or restrictions to be taken in response to the attack.
Defense minister Moshe Ya’alon was briefed on the investigation this morning by local commanders and met with senior officials in the Shomron area, including IDF chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen.
“We are in an area now where there are many forces in operation, including the IDF and General Security Services, in order to catch the killers,” said Ya’alon. “I hope that sooner rather than later we catch them, as we have in similar cases. There is no doubt that this is a very serious attack. We are taking action to prevent any future attacks and hope that we will be successful.”
Ya’alon observed that recent attacks have been instigated by the Palestinian Authority, with orders to perpetrate terror coming directly from the top, bringing incidents of murder and bloodshed.
“We are working against those who are responsible for this incitement and I hope that we are able to stabilize the situation quickly,” said Ya’alon “We have increased the IDF presence in both Yehuda and Shomron in recent days to prevent terror attacks, including stone throwing, which can also have lethal consequences, and Molotov cocktail attacks. I hope that these actions will bring stability and security to the area.”
Ya’alon extended his condolences to the Henkin family and called upon local leaders to exercise responsibility in the wake of yesterday’s murders, noting that retaliation by individuals could have potentially devastating consequences.
“Acts of violence interfere with the IDF’s ability to operate and only add fuel to the fire,” said Ya’alon.
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