Trapped and Ambushed
around 7:15 local time, Palestinian terrorists—armed with
grenades and rifles—attacked Jewish worshippers along "worshippers’
lane" on their way home from Sabbath prayers at the Tomb of
the Patriarchs. Early witness reports say that unarmed families
didn’t see anything different when they started off for home after
prayer, yet suddenly their bodies were struck by bullets from the
direction of an olive grove. Nearby Israeli soldiers attempted to
save the people.
had no idea that they were running into a trap as they chased the
terrorists into a dead-end alley. Backup continued to pour in, only
to be killed. Israeli television Channel One’s Military analyst
Alon Ben-David said, “the rescuers were drawn into the alley
blindly, with the terrorists holding the high ground and sniping
it was over 12 were killed, including Colonel Dror Weinberg, Hebron’s
military commander. Weinberg, the highest-ranking officer in the
area, was one of the first to rush to the scene and reportedly arrived
without his bulletproof vest and helmet. 15 others were also injured.
Arik Mariner, an Israeli officer recounted the horrific scene saying.
"The wounded were screaming, ‘Save us,’ and I saw things …
soldiers without hands, without legs, things that tear the heart."
to Israeli soldiers, the attack came from all sides in the Palestinian
controlled Abu Sneineh neighborhood; the Israelis were completely
exposed. Snipers used M-16 assault rifles and threw grenades. Magen
David Adom ambulances could not even reach the worshipers and soldiers
for over 30 minutes because they too came under attack from Palestinian
head of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shallah, relished the massacre saying
on al-Jazeera television, "I extend congratulations to our
heroic mujahideen… who were able to carry out this remarkable
operation. It included members of the Jerusalem Brigades, the military
wing of Islamic Jihad in Palestine."
television stations showed dancing in the streets of the Gaza Strip;
Palestinian civilians broke out in celebration of the murders.