Rabbi Meir Chai, Father of Seven, Killed in Shooting Attack


meir-chai[Update below.] A man in his 30s was killed in a shooting attack this afternoon on the road leading from the West Bank community of Shavei Shomron to Einav. The victim, who sustained head wounds, apparently lost control of the vehicle, which was found in a ditch at the side of the road. Magen David Adom ambulance teams rushed to the scene and treated the wounded man at the site, but could not save his life.

 Paramedic Tzachi Cohen told Ynet: “We found the motorist in the vehicle…nothing could be done as result of the serious wound. We pronounced him dead at the scene.”

Security forces were also dispatched to the scene and were scouring the area for suspects. The troops set up roadblocks in the area in an effort to nab the shooters.

According to initial reports, the motorist targeted in the attack was traveling on Highway 57 when he was fired at. The man was alone in the vehicle at the time of the attack.

Security officials are looking into the possibility that the man was ambushed from a nearby hill. Another possibility looked into by the army is a drive-by shooting.

Several attacks and attempted attacks have been reported in Judea and Samaria recently. At the end of last month, a terrorist armed with an axe assaulted a man and a woman near a gas station. The two were lightly hurt in the attack. The terrorist was shot by a soldier in the area and sustained grave wounds.

Update: The victim was identified as Meir Chai, a 45-year-old resident of the settlement and father of seven children ranging in age from two months to 18. Chai was the fourth terror victim in the West Bank in 2009.

Chai was driving in his minivan on Road 57, between Shavei Shomron and Einav, when a Palestinian car overtook him and opened fire. Chai was hit in the head and drove off the road. Magen David Adom paramedics arrived quickly at the scene and despite their efforts, were forced to pronounce his death.

Large IDF and Border Police forces were alerted to the scene and began searching for the terrorists. According to Palestinian reports, the Imad Mughniyeh Group – in reference to the Hizbullah commander assassinated two years ago – claimed responsibility for the attack. It also claimed to be affiliated with Fatah’s Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

 {Ynet/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}