Parents, 3 children hurt in West Bank firebombing
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Parents, 3 children hurt in West Bank firebombing

4-year-old in moderate condition, mom, dad and two other children lightly injured in attack on car; riots reported throughout Palestinian territories

The charred baby seat of a 4-year-old girl who was moderately wounded when the car she was traveling in was hit with a Molotov cocktail hurled by Palestinian terrorists. (IDF)
The charred baby seat of a 4-year-old girl who was moderately wounded when the car she was traveling in was hit with a Molotov cocktail hurled by Palestinian terrorists. (IDF)

Two Israeli parents and their three young children were wounded Friday in a firebombing attack on their car near the settlement of Beit El, in the West Bank north of Jerusalem.

The family members suffered burns of various degrees. The youngest girl, aged four, was moderately hurt. Her brother, 12-year-old sister and mother and father were lightly injured.

The five were treated at the scene by Magen David Adom medics and evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital for further treatment.

Clashes were reported Friday afternoon throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with several Israelis and Palestinians injured in the confrontations.

An Israeli car hit by a firebomb near the settlement of Beit El, north of Jerusalem. A mother and her two daughters were wounded in the incident on October 23, 2015 (Courtesy IDF Spokesman)
An Israeli car hit by a firebomb near the settlement of Beit El, north of Jerusalem. A family of five were wounded in the incident on October 23, 2015 (Courtesy: IDF Spokesman)

In the West Bank, riots were reported in the Bethlehem and Hebron areas as well as near Qalqilya, Tulkarem and Ramallah. Palestinian protesters engaged security forces while throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the troops, who responded with riot dispersal measures and in some cases reportedly used live fire.

Palestinians said dozens were hurt in the West Bank during the day. A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was seriously injured near Ramallah. Palestinians said he was shot by Israeli troops during clashes outside Beit El. Two Palestinians were reported wounded during riots in Halhul, near Hebron. Reports said a 24-year-old was shot in the head and a 16-year-old in the leg. Both were both evacuated to a Palestinian hospital in Hebron. According to the Walla news website, they were hit by small caliber bullets fired by IDF soldiers.

An IDF soldier was lightly hurt by a rock in Givat Assaf, an Israeli outpost near Beit El. He was treated by medics and taken to hospital.

In the morning, an IDF soldier was stabbed and wounded in the shoulder by a 16-year-old Palestinian in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. The soldier shot his assailant in the knee to thwart the attack.

Palestinian stone throwers and journalists take cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces during clashes following Friday prayers on October 23, 2015, in the West Bank town of Hebron (Hazem Bader/AFP)
Palestinian stone throwers and journalists take cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces during clashes following Friday prayers on October 23, 2015, in the West Bank town of Hebron (Hazem Bader/AFP)

Meanwhile residents of a Jerusalem neighborhood apparently prevented a stabbing attack when they spotted a man acting suspiciously and called police. The man was caught with a knife on his person and arrested.

In Jerusalem overnight, an Israeli man was suspected of beating a person he thought to be a potential Arab attacker carrying a firearm. The victim, who proved to be an armed Israeli Jewish man, was hit repeatedly with a metal rod and was hospitalized in moderate condition. The suspect was a 28-year-old ultra-Orthodox man, according to Walla.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians said at least 21 people were wounded in border clashes with Israeli forces. Violent confrontations were reported in the north of the territory — near the Erez and Nahal Oz crossings as well as Shujaiya, and in the central Strip — near the El Bureij refugee camp and Khan Younis.

Palestinian factions had earlier called for a “Day of Rage” with protests to be held after Friday prayers in Gaza and the West Bank.

Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group which rules the Gaza Strip, called in a statement for “more protests and more clashes with soldiers in the West Bank.”

Israel lifted age restrictions for weekly prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in an apparent bid to ease tensions over the site, which has been at the center of recent violence. Some 30,000 Muslim worshipers prayed at the mosque on the Temple Mount and police said the prayers ended without incident.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday and the two discussed the current round of violence. Kerry said after the meeting that he was “cautiously optimistic” that tensions would ease.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin, October 22, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin, October 22, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

The Quartet of Middle East peacemakers — US Secretary of State John Kerry, his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and UN chief Ban Ki-moon — were to hold talks on the escalating violence on Friday.

The Temple Mount is one of the key sources of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, as it is both the third-holiest site for Muslims and the holiest site for Jews. Under the terms of an agreement in place since 1967 — the so-called status quo — Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there.

The site is managed by an Islamic foundation under the auspices of Jordan but Israel controls access. Israel has in previous weeks restricted the entry for Muslim men to the site to those over a certain age, in an effort to prevent violence.

A series of Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis, and Israeli-Palestinian clashes, have erupted in recent weeks over Palestinian claims that Israel was planning to change the status quo, despite vehement denials from the Jewish state.

Ten Israelis have been killed and dozens injured in a string of attacks in the past month. At least 40 Palestinians have also died, many while carrying out stabbing attacks on Israelis and others in clashes with security forces.

AFP contributed to this report.

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