It was an improvised explosive device set off remotely by Palestinian terrorists which caused the death of 17-year old Rina Shnerb and injured her father, Rabbi Eytan, 46 and brother, Dvir, 19. It blew up on the path they were taking on Friday morning, Aug. 23, down to the popular Danny Spring nature reserve outside Dolev in Binyamin. The first stages of the investigation into the attack reveal that a squad of two or three terrorists took the time to plant the bomb expertly on the path in the early hours of the morning. They then withdrew to the terraced olive-grove slopes overlooking the spring and watched for trippers to arrive. When the three Shnerbs started along the path, they detonated the bomb and made for their escape car. This squad is still at large.
Rina out front took the main force of the blast and shrapnel. Rabbi Eytan, although hurt, called for help and tried first aid to save his daughter and then to staunch the bleeding from his son’s serious injuries. Paramedics who were soon on the scene toiled to save Rina but were forced to confirm her death. Her father and brother were flown by helicopter to hospital in Jerusalem. Rina’s funeral at their hometown of Lod was attended by her mother, nine other siblings and hundreds of mourners.
The initial stages of the investigation already lead to seven, say DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources:
- This was no lone-wolf attack but the work of a terrorist team.
- This sort of terrorist operation requires forward planning and intelligence for determining the bomb’s location and the distance from which it is to be detonated.
- An escape route was laid on for the perpetrators by car with a driver or driven by the perpetrators.
- Palestinian terror operatives are becoming more audacious. In recent attacks – the stabbing murder of Dvir Sorek on Aug. 8 outside Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion, the car ramming attack on an Israeli brother and sister a week ago outside Elazar and the latest atrocity – all show they are not afraid to strike near fortified Israeli communities, undeterred even by security cameras. It is becoming evident that the security setup provided Israeli communities in Yehuda and Samaria no longer serves its purpose.
- This murderous attack this Friday was clearly neither a one-time nor a copycat operation, but part of an organized series orchestrated by a central hand.
- That these deadly attacks continue shows that the Shin Bet security service – as well as the Palestinian Authority’s security agencies cooperating with Israel – has not found leads to the responsible party or parties.
- There is a real possibly that disaffected elements of rival Palestinian terrorist movements, such as the Fatah-Tanzim, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, dissatisfied with leaders’ inconclusive Israel policies, have taken their own initiative for launching a radical anti-Israel campaign.
Remote-controlled IEDs (notoriously used against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan) were the weapon of choice for the Palestinian Fatah-Tanzim squads against the Jews of Judea and Samaria in the years 2001-2004, after which their intifada was suppressed. In recent years, Palestinian terrorists turned mostly to shooting, stabbing or car-ramming tactics. The return of roadside bombs represents a dangerous escalation and poses a major danger to the traffic using the roads and highways of this region.