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Israel Says Motorist Killed in West Bank Held US Citizenship

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Israeli soldiers search a Palestinian's car after Monday's shooting attack near the Palestinian town of Jericho. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
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Israeli authorities said Tuesday that a motorist shot to death by a suspected Palestinian gunman in the occupied West Bank held both American and Israeli citizenship. It was the latest in a bloody string of violent attacks roiling the region.

The government identified the slain man as Elan Ganeles, 27, of West Hartford, Conn. A friend told local media he had been visiting Israel for a wedding and driving on a highway near the Dead Sea when he was shot. The attackers remained at large Tuesday.

Ganeles was the sole fatality of what the army said was a multi-site shooting spree a day earlier. The army said the attackers opened fire at an Israeli car near the Palestinian city of Jericho, hitting Ganeles. The assailants, traveling in one vehicle, then drove further and fired again, the army said. The attackers set their own vehicle afire and fled, setting off a manhunt.

Ganeles died later at Hadassah Medical Center, the hospital said. He is to be buried Wednesday in the Israeli central city of Raanana. Israeli President Isaac Herzog extended condolences to Ganeles’s family.

The Jewish Federations of North America said it was devastated. “A recent college graduate, Elan had a bright future ahead of him. Our hearts go out to his family and to the West Hartford community and we cry together with them. May Elan’s memory be for a blessing,” it said in a statement.

David Waren, President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, said: “We extend our deepest condolences to the Ganeles family and affirm our solidarity with the people of Israel at this time of escalating violence. May Elan’s memory be a blessing for his family and our entire community.”

Ganeles’s killing came a day after two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian gunman in the northern West Bank, triggering a rampage in which Israeli settlers torched dozens of cars and homes in a Palestinian town and one Palestinian was killed. It was the worst such violence in decades.

So far this year, 62 Palestinians, about half of them affiliated with armed groups, have been killed by Israeli troops and civilians. In the same period, 14 Israelis, all but one of them civilians, have been killed in Palestinian attacks.

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