A rabbi who heads a West Bank yeshiva was killed Friday afternoon and his wife and children were injured when their family car came under gunfire from a passing vehicle and overturned, south of the West Bank city of Hebron.
The victim of the terror attack was named as 48-year-old Miki Mark, director of the yeshiva in nearby Otniel. Mark, a father of ten and the cousin of Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, had lived in the settlement with his family for years.
Mark’s wife was seriously injured in the attack near Beit Hagai on Route 60. Their 14-year-old daughter was in moderate-to-serious condition and their 15-year-old son was lightly injured. Earlier reports of an infant in the vehicle were apparently mistaken.
An initial investigation indicated the terrorists passed the family’s car with their vehicle, then opened fire at them. Officials said over 20 bullet holes were found in the victims’ car.
The victims were taken Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem for treatment. The wounded woman sustained serious head injuries from the gunfire. She was unconscious and respirated as she was hospitalized, Magen David Adom said.
It was not immediately clear how many were injured from the initial gunfire and how many were hurt in the ensuing accident.
Hamas praised the attack, with an announcer on its TV channel saying it was a response to “crimes against the Palestinian people,” according to Army Radio. The group did not claim responsibility for the shooting.
Security forces were searching the area for the perpetrators, who fled the scene after the attack, the army said in a statement. Army officials said they had ordered an effective closure of Hebron to prevent further attacks.
Following the attack the security cabinet scheduled an emergency meeting for Saturday evening to discuss recent events.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement he believed the cabinet should meet on Friday evening, and not postpone.
“Terrorists do not keep Shabbat,” he said. “Failure to respond severely after an attack will lead to another attack.”
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz called for a national state of emergency. “We must understand that we are in a state of all-out war and act accordingly,” he said. “We must declare a state of emergency.”
The attack comes a day after a 13-year-old girl was killed in her home at the Kiryat Arba settlement adjacent to Hebron.