An Israeli father and son were killed after Palestinian gunmen fired on the car their family was traveling in near Hebron, The Times of Israel reported Friday. The mother and another son were injured, and three daughters were not injured but treated for shock.
Just before 3 p.m. on Friday, the Magen David Adom rescue service received a report of gunshots fired at a car near Otniel Junction in the southern West Bank. Paramedics arrived to find two Israelis critically injured. They subsequently pronounced them dead at the scene.
The two were later identified as a man in his 40s and his son of about 18. The murdered father and the son were seated in the front seats of the vehicle; initial reports said the family, said to live in the settlement of Kiryat Arba adjoining Hebron, was on its way to relatives in the southern town of Meitar for Shabbat when the attack happened.
Channel 2 reported that two gunmen opened fire at the vehicle and that one of them then got out and fired more shots from closer to the family’s car. The TV report said the critically injured son managed to telephone emergency services and was then hit by more gunfire.
Channel 2 also reported that Israeli security forces were searching nearby villages for the suspects. The Israeli news website Walla reported that Hamas, which has a limited presence in the West Bank, hailed the killings. Hamas media outlets falsely claimed that the lives of the children were spared. The terrorist organization made a similar claim after the killings of Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their children last month.
Since the Jewish high holidays in September, 15 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks – including shootings, stabbings and car rammings – and hundreds more injured. The violence has been spurred by incitement coming from Palestinian political leaders and on social media.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently called Israel an occupying power since its founding in 1948, and in September called on Palestinians to defend Jerusalem holy sites from being defiled by the “filthy feet” of Jews.
Over 20,000 Israelis have filed a lawsuit calling on Facebook to shut down incitement appearing on the social media platform. Micah Avni, the son of terror victim Richard Lakin, who died last month after being shot and stabbed on a Jerusalem bus, told The New York Times that his father was the victim of “incitement and hate” on Facebook. One inciting post cited in the Times was a cartoon with “a close-up of a menacing blade, and is captioned: ‘This is not difficult. To the closest kitchen, and go in the name of God.’”
[Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash90 ]