All Saturday night and Sunday morning, Oct. 6, Israel military forces backed by combat helicopters scoured the West Bank area between El-Bireh and the Jelazun refugee camp north of Bethel, raiding houses in search of the gunman who shot a nine-year old girl, Noam Glick, at her home in Pesagot. Several Palestinians were injured.
The attack Saturday night was the third time the Palestinians had used their new “lone-wolf” tactic whereby a gunman kills his Israeli target usually with a single bullet. Two soldiers were murdered on the West Bank by this method last month: Sgt. Tomer Hazan from Bat Yam, whose body was found near Qalqilya on Sept. 21 and Sgt. Gal Koby from Tirat Hacarmel who died Sept. 22 when a sniper bullet struck at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
This time, the IDF command initially claimed the Pesagot attack was not the work of a terrorist organization but an individual initiative. By the time a concerted counter-terror operation was mounted, the gunman had escaped under cover of dark.
debkafile’s military sources report that Sgt. Hazan’s murderer exercised cunning to lure his prey; the gunman who shot Sgt. Koby was a trained sniper who was never caught, while the Pesagot terrorist must have carried out professional advance surveillance to discover the weak point in the electronic fence guarding the village. He picked as his target a home just 300 meters from the neighboring Palestinian town of El Bireh on the fringe of Ramallah. The gunman, aided most probably by accomplices, was able to breach the fence without raising the alarm, reach the back yard of the nearest home where he found Noam, shoot her at very close range and escape. He knew that he was shooting a child.
Although badly injured, Noam Glick calmly described the terrorist and his firearm, a pistol.
She was lucky to survive with a serious injury to her shoulder. She is now recovering in a Jerusalem hospital after surgery. Pesagot schools remained closed Sunday as the hunt continued for the gunman.
One of the questions asked after the attack is why the security fence’s alarm systems were not triggered by the breach.
On Sept. 23, after Gal Koby was murdered in Hebron, debkafile wrote under the caption: Why has Mahmoud Abbas given the nod to lone wolf Palestinian terror?
Like [Yasser] Arafat before him, [Mahmoud] Abbas does not issue public and transparent guidelines. Winks and nods from high-ups have generated the sort of climate where terrorists may go into restrained action. Provided they limit their targets to uniformed Israelis, they are given to understand they will not be bothered by Palestinian security and intelligence agencies.
Those agencies certainly know the identity of the Palestinian sniper who shot dead the Israel soldier in Hebron Sunday. On an order from the Palestinian leader, they could quickly lay hands on him and pass him over to the Israeli authorities. The Palestinian Authority’s failure to do so has forced a crack in [US Secretary of State John] Kerry’s lid on the bubbling Palestinian stew. It remains to be seen whether or not Abbas continues to let attacks on Israeli soldiers continue, or even decides to expand them.
The answer to this question came in Pesagot Saturday night, Oct. 5, when the attacks were expanded to include a civilian as well as military targets.