A shooting attack took place just after 9 p.m. on Thursday night, with initial reports indicating two people in their 30s were killed in the gunfire.
MDA volunteers said that the victims were a man and a woman and that they were dead when the volunteers arrived on the scene. They had suffered wounds in the upper body.
Four children were in the vehicle. The children are aged four months, four years, 7 and 9. They were unhurt and did not require evacuation to hospital.
An MDA paramedic, Boaz Malka, said that upon arrival, “We saw a car in the middle of the road, with a man in his 30s lying next to it with wounds to the upper body. Inside the vehicle, a woman in her 30s was seated, also with serious wounds to the upper body. They were without signs of life and regrettably we had to determine that they were dead on the spot.”
The attack occurred near Beit Furik, between the towns of Itamar and Elon Moreh, located southeast of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria.
Large security forces are present at the scene.
Shooting was reportedly heard after the IDF arrived on the scene and it was believed that the forces may be engaged in a chase.
According to investigators, the mother was killed immediately. The father, despite suffering from multiple bullet wounds, stepped out of the vehicle and opened one of the car’s back doors, telling his children to flee the scene. He then collapsed on the road and died.
Investigators say the attackers stopped their vehicle, one of them stepped out and walked over to the Israeli car and verified that both parents were dead. The man returned to the vehicle, which sped away toward a nearby Palestinian village.
The road has been closed to traffic. The IDF and Shin Bet have launched a manhunt for the perpetrators, including sweeps of the area, roadblocks and other methods. The area southeast of Shechem has been declared a closed military zone, according to reports, and eyewitnesses report seeing UAVs and patrols flooding the area.
IDF forces are said to be operating in force in the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, called the attack “one of the hardest and most shocking events I’ve ever experienced. This road was opened irresponsibly to Palestinian drivers a few months ago and we said this attack would happen,” he charged in a Channel 2 interview. “There isn’t a proper response. Terror isn’t being dealt with as it should be,” he said.
Regional council psychologists were working with the children, Dagan said. Asked what the children were telling authorities about the attack they witnessed from up close, he said, “I can’t say much for security reasons, but the children described in great detail what happened, as children do.”
The IDF raised the alert level throughout Judea and Samaria out of fear that the attack could spark further violence.
More to follow.
The IDF is operating to pursue and locate those responsible of this ruthless, heinous barbaric attack.
Cleared for publication: The names of the latest victims of Palestinian terror released.
Eitam Henkin, officer in the Sayeret Matkal, a special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces, and his wife Na’ama Henkin from Neria, parents to six children, were gunned down by Palestinian terrorists in front of their four children earlier today.
Terrorist Victims to be Laid to Rest on Friday
Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were murdered on Thursday in the terrorist attack in Samaria will be brought to rest on Friday at 11:00 a.m.
The funeral will take place at the cemetery in Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem
IDF reinforced with four additional battalions.
Defense Minister Ya’alon vowed to “put our hands” on the perpetrators of the deadly shooting attack. “This evening’s lethal attack is the logical continuation of the incitement against the State of Israel and its citizens,” he said in a statement shortly after the attack.
Minor clashes between Israelis and Palestinians followed the terror attack. A Palestinian woman and her three children were said to be lightly injured in another rock throwing attack by protesters in the Palestinian village of Burin, west of Beit Furik. The Palestinian Authority’s Hebron intelligence chief’s vehicle was smashed by rocks upon passing the area where the terror attack took place. He was transported to a hospital for treatment.
At a press briefing in New York on Thursday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was asked by Arutz Sheva whether he intends to approve new construction in Judea and Samaria in response to the murderous terrorist attack in Samaria. Netanyahu replied, “Let’s just say that will we have something to announce,” refusing to elaborate.