An Israeli-American former U.S. Marine was seriously injured in a terror attack in the Palestinian West Bank village of Huwara.
David Stern, a resident of the Israeli West Bank settlement of Itamar, was driving through the village with his wife when a Palestinian gunman shot at their car. Stern was hit in his head and shoulder and fired back at the attacker, according to Israeli reports. He was taken to a hospital and his condition has since stabilized. His wife has also been treated for traumatic shock.
Stern is well known as a martial arts instructor in Itamar, a settlement of about 1,400 that in 2011 was the site of a brutal murder of five members of a Jewish family inside their home. He had taught one of the family members, 11-year-old Yoav, and told Ynet, an Israeli news source, in 2012 that many families in the settlement viewed self-defense classes like his as “an existential matter.” According to Ynet, Stern served in the Marines for four years and grew more religiously observant because of the influence of a military chaplain.
The attack comes three weeks after two Israeli brothers, Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, were killed in a previous shooting attack while driving on the same road in Huwara. Following that attack, dozens of Israeli settlers rioted in Huwara, burning buildings and injuring residents. Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the village to be wiped out, a statement that sparked international condemnation, and which Smotrich has since repeatedly walked back.
Following the attack on Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces locked down the area surrounding Huwara, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Sunday’s attack also comes three weeks after Elan Ganeles, another dual Israeli-American citizen, was killed in a shooting attack in the West Bank. Ganeles had traveled to Israel to attend a friend’s wedding.
Since the beginning of the year, more than a dozen Israelis, mostly civilians, have been killed in Palestinian attacks. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military raids in the West Bank. The Palestinians who have been killed were largely militants, according to Israel, and some were civilians.