Palestinian teen who killed soldier, rabbi at Ariel junction dies in shootout with Israeli forces

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian teen who killed two Israelis in a terror attack in the northern West Bank was shot and killed during a shootout with Israeli forces.

Israeli soldiers on Tuesday night surrounded the building in the West Bank village of Abwein where Omar Abu Laila, 19, was hiding out, in an operation coordinated with the Israel Security Agency and the border guard, according to the IDF. Israeli forces had been searching for Laila for two days, since he evaded security forces on Sunday after abandoning a stolen car at the entrance to a nearby West Bank village.

Laila fired at the soldiers that surrounded the house, according to reports, and they fired back.

On Sunday morning Laila, of the Az-Zawiya village, allegedly stabbed and killed a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, Gal Keidan, and stole his gun, shooting at passing cars at the junction where he hit Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, before getting in a car abandoned by a frightened driver. He headed to the next junction, where he shot at soldiers waiting at a bus stop.

Ettinger, who managed to fire off four shots at his attacker despite gun shots to his head and neck, died on Monday morning. Another 19-year-old soldier shot at the Gitai Junction was taken off a respirator on Tuesday and has regained consciousness.