GUSH ETZION Eliav Gelman, a 31-year-old IDF reserve officer, was accidentally shot to death after a stabbing attack was carried out at the flashpoint of Gush Etzion Junction shortly after noon, local time, on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
A Palestinian terrorist arrived at the junction from the south and attempted to stab Gelman. According to an army spokesperson, IDF forces shot and neutralized the terrorist, also hitting his intended victim by mistake.
Gelman was critically wounded in his chest and received treatment at the scene before being transported in an intensive care ambulance to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem. He arrived at the hospital unconscious and in critical condition, and eventually succumbed to his wounds.
Eliav Gelman, resident of the community of Karmei Tzur in Samaria, is survived by his pregnant wife Rinat and by their two children, Yair and Yoav.
He served was a captain in the IDF and ended his army service several months ago. He was planning to work in security and was on reserve duty during the attack.
Residents of Karmei Tzur described Gelman as a quiet and strong man who gave many years of his life to protect the land and people of Israel.
Great pain fills our heart, said David Pearl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. Eliav is another victim in the battle over Gush Etzion . . . Our thoughts are with the family and with Karmei Tzur residents at this time. We will later see what actions the government takes to change the situation.
The terrorist, identified as 26-year-old Mamdouh Amru from the village of Dura, was shot and moderately wounded. He was transported to Shaare Zedek hospital as well to receive treatment. He is a teacher.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called for closing the junction to Palestinian vehicles, saying it was not a punishment of Palestinians, but the prevention of murders of Jews.
Gush Etzion Junction is a flashpoint that has seen many terror attacks in recent months that have left several Israelis dead and many wounded.