Two Israelis were shot and wounded as they drove near the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar in an apparent terror attack overnight Wednesday, the Magen David Adom emergency service said. A baby in the vehicle with them was unhurt.
The gunmen fled the scene of the shooting. Security forces set up roadblocks in the area and began hunting for the perpetrators.
MDA said its medics treated a 21-year-old man who was conscious but seriously wounded and a 23-year-old woman who was moderately wounded and fully conscious.
The woman was sitting in the back seat of the car next to a 5-month-old baby girl who was not injured by the bullets.
“It was a miracle,” an MDA medic said.
Despite his injuries, the wounded man managed to continue driving to the nearest settlement, Moshav Gitit, where medics were dispatched to treat the injured people.
A helicopter then took them to Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tivka, MDA said.
The attack came amid soaring tensions in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, as Israel fights a fierce war against the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip following its October 7 massacres in southern Israel. Thousands of terrorists invaded from Gaza and slaughtered some 1,400 people, most of them civilians while also taking at least 240 to the Strip as hostages.
The shooting came two days after Border Police officer Sgt. Rose Elisheva Lubin, 20, from Kibbutz Sa’ad in southern Israel, was stabbed to death in Jerusalem and another officer was injured. The Palestinian assailant was shot dead by other Border Police officers at the scene, police said.
Lubin had moved to Israel from the United States in August 2021, and was drafted to police as a so-called lone soldier in March 2022.
Last week Elhanan Klein, 29, was shot dead as he was returning from army reserve duty to his home in the settlement of Einav in the northern West Bank.
Medics found him dead in his car, which crashed and overturned on the side of Route 557 near the Palestinian town of Bayt Lid, northwest of Nablus. Israeli authorities described the incident as a terror attack and the Israel Defense Forces launched a manhunt for the gunman, setting up roadblocks in the area.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with mayors of West Bank settlements and assured them that increasing efforts were being made to thwart terror attacks in the region.
He also warned them against a “tiny handful of extremists” in the settler community carrying out violence against Palestinians that could lead to an escalation in the West Bank.
There have been a number of reported incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, including multiple deaths, since the war started.
There have been frequent clashes in the West Bank since the war began. Troops have arrested more than 1,350 wanted Palestinians in the West Bank, including some 850 affiliated with Hamas, according to the IDF.
According to data from the Palestinian Authority health ministry, at least 155 West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, and in some cases settlers, since October 7.