Israeli security forces were searching extensively Tuesday for the perpetrators of a terrorist attack on Passover eve Monday near the West Bank Tarqumiyah crossing, in which a 40-year-old Israeli was shot dead and his pregnant wife and son were injured on their way to a holiday Seder in Hebron.
Searches were focused on the nearby Palestinian village of Idhna, from which officials believed the gunman or gunmen originated, Channel 10 reported.
The village was closed off by IDF troops throughout the night as they combed its streets and houses for suspects. The closure was removed Tuesday morning, though roadblocks were set up at the village entrances and soldiers were checking residents as they came and went. Searches inside the village were also ongoing.
Security officials told Channel 10 they believed the attack to be an “independent” act, not one sponsored by one of the Palestinian terrorist groups in the region. Though Hamas and Islamic Jihad both praised the attack, they did not take credit for it.
As of late Tuesday morning, no arrests had been announced, and Channel 10 said there were no solid leads.
The IDF’s initial investigation of the attack found that the shooter approached Route 35, near Idhna, on foot, and opened automatic gunfire on passing cars from a distance of several meters.
The victim, a father of four, was killed when the family’s car was struck by several bullets. The man’s pregnant wife was in stable condition after the attack, and was evacuated to the Sha’arei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem with broken bones, but no life-threatening injuries. She was informed of her husband’s death.
One of the couple’s children, aged 9, was lightly injured.
The family was traveling from their home in Modi’in to Hebron to participate in the Passover seder meal with the mother’s family.
According to an eyewitness, at around 6:00 p.m. a man dressed in black, wearing a helmet on his head, opened fire with an AK-47 rifle at cars passing by, Channel 10 reported. Two cars were struck but managed to flee, after which the Modi’in family was struck by the gunfire.
Shots were also fired at an IDF position near the Tarqumiyah checkpoint. No injuries were reported in that incident.
Lazar Berman contributed to this report.