As the Passover holiday began Monday evening, a 40-year-old Israeli father of four was killed after being struck by shots fired at his family’s car as it made its way along Route 35 near the Palestinian town of Idhna in the southern West Bank.
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.
Palestinian terrorist organizations rushed to praise the attack, but did not take credit for it.
The IDF’s initial investigation found that the shooter approached the road on foot, and opened automatic gunfire on passing cars from a distance of several meters, Ynet reported. He then moved to another location, where he continued firing until he escaped.
A Hamas spokesman called the shooting “heroic” on his Facebook page.
Islamic Jihad called the attack “a natural reaction to the crimes of the occupation and settlers against our people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Shots were also fired at an IDF position near the Tarqumiyah checkpoint. No injuries were reported in that incident.
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.
Security forces opened searches for the perpetrators.