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Three Israelis Killed Near Hevron

Arutz Sheva January 25, 2003

Yesterday night, shortly after Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin declared that, despite rumors to the contrary, there would be no cessation of terrorist attacks, three soldiers of the Lavi unit were killed in an ambush at K’vasim Junction in the southern Hevron hills. IDF troops are scouring the area for the attackers, while the city of Hevron remains under curfew.

The fallen are: Corporal Assaf Bitan, 19, from Afula; Corporal Ronald Barer, 19, from Rechovot; First-Sergeant Yaakov Na’im, 20, from Kfar Monash. First-Sergeant Na’im was laid to rest today in the military section of the Kfar Monash cemetery.

In the ambush, which took place at about 8:30pm, Arab gunmen fired at an IDF foot patrol from point blank range, as it made its way by the village of Yatah, in the Hevron hills. After gravely wounding the three soldiers and stealing weapons from two of them, the attackers fled into Yatah. One of the soldiers managed to return fire, but medics were unable to save the soldiers’ lives, and they eventually succumbed to their wounds. The Arab attackers had also apparently filmed the ambush, as has become familiar from Hizbullah attacks on IDF troops in the now-defunct security zone in southern Lebanon.

In a flyer circulated throughout the Palestinian Authority, the Hamas terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the fatal shootings.

23 Israelis have been murdered in terrorist attacks in the Hevron hills since October.

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