HEBRON, West Bank, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- An Israeli soldier died from gunshot wounds shortly after shots were fired at soldiers deployed near the Machpela Cave in Hebron, the army said.
The soldier deployed on routine activity in Hebron guarding the Hebron Jewish community during Sukkot celebrations was shot in the neck on Sunday evening.
Paramedics attempted to stabilize his condition and he was taken by ambulance to the Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he died shortly after, the army said.
The Israeli security establishment is treating the shooting as a terrorist attack, Israel's Channel 2 said. Initial assessments point to a Palestinian sniper who shot the soldier, the television report said.
"This lethal attack illustrates the complex security challenges the Israel Defense Forces face on a daily basis in Judea and Samaria. The IDF will employ all the necessary means, operational and intelligence, to apprehend those responsible for this deadly attack. The IDF will continue to act to prevent terror and safeguard the civilians of the state of Israel and its soldiers," army spokesman Lt.Col. Peter Lerner said.
Immediately following the shooting, Israeli soldiers and Border Police sealed off all accesses leading to Hebron and searched for the perpetrator. The army later imposed a curfew on Hebron, the television report said.
Activities planned by the Jewish community in Hebron on Monday as part of the Sukkot holiday celebrations have been canceled, the report said.
Israeli school children and some government ministries are on vacation for the weeklong Sukkot holiday. Sukkot also known as the Feast of Tabernacles marks the period when in ancient times Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. During the holiday, religious Jews eat their meals and sleep in makeshift dwellings to remember the makeshift camps used by the Israelities during their 40 years in the desert after their Exodus from Egypt.