The young man, aged 19, was a student of a Jewish religious school and grandson of a well-known rabbi. According to preliminary information, the soldier was the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt. The kidnappers abandoned him at the edge of the road. For the Israeli security forces this is a "terrorist attack".
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - This morning Israeli security forces found a soldier stabbed to death near a Jewish settlement, outside the Palestinian town of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank territories. According to local media reports, the soldier was the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt; the kidnappersleft the body at the side of the road.
The note released by the Israeli army does not provide further details on the abduction and the perpetrators. The only element provided by the investigators, who for the moment do not want to reveal the victim's identity, is that the young man was 19 years old and was a student of a Jewish religious school.
The boy is originally from the settlement of Ofra and is the nephew of a well-known rabbi. The army has already launched an internal investigation, assisted by the police and the Shin Bet (Israeli secret services); the authorities have also allocated additional troops in the area, in search of the attackers.
According to preliminary reports, during the night the family of the young man - who was not yet trained or armed - contacted the authorities to report his disappearance. The complaint triggered an immediate manhunt, which led to the discovery of the body at around 2.30am on the roadside of a settlement in Migdal Oz.
"At the moment we can say that this is a terrorist attack, but it is too early to state this unequivocally," said Brigadier General Ronen Manelis, a spokesman for the Israeli army. The military adds that, in all probability, "a terrorist cell" is active in the area and that it "launched the attack".
The young man would have been attacked, thrown into a vehicle and then - later - abandoned already a corpse in the place where the body was found. Channel 13 sources speak of an "organized cell" behind the kidnapping attempt, during which complications have occurred.
Commenting on the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said security forces "are at work" to "capture" the attackers. President Reuven Rivlin addressed condolences to the family on behalf of the country and secured the maximum commitment to capture the perpetrators. "Our prayers - he said - this morning I am united with the family of the killed soldier and our hearts are crying for a life broken too soon". "We will fight terrorism - he concluded - without compromise, to guarantee the safety of our people".
In the past, Hebron and the Jewish settlements surrounding the Palestinian city have often been the scene of clashes and violence between Israelis and Palestinians.