The two Israeli men killed in a terror attack south of the West Bank city of Hebron Friday afternoon were named as Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18.
The two, who were killed when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the family as they drove to an event to celebrate their daughter’s upcoming wedding, were to be buried in Jerusalem on Saturday evening.
Other family members traveling in the car — the mother, a 16-year-old boy and three young girls aged 11, 9 and 5 — were all lightly wounded, suffering mostly from bruises and shrapnel injuries. The fourth daughter preparing for her wedding was not in the car.
Ya’akov Litman was initially hit by the gunfire while driving and swerved into the opposite lane, where he crashed into rocks by the side of the road. His older son called rescue services but was then also shot dead. The younger brother then called Magen David Adom’s hotline to report the attack. He said a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance drove by the scene without stopping.
According to a report on Channel 2, one of the shooters, after critically wounding Ya’akov and Netanel, came closer to fire further bullets. He did not fire at the girls.
Magen David Adom paramedics arrived to find the father and son critically injured and pronounced them dead at the scene shortly after.
Hamas media outlets celebrated the murders. It claimed the killers “were merciful” to the children in accordance with the dictates of Islam. Channel 2 suggested that dark windows on the family’s van may have meant the gunmen did not realize there were children in the back seats.
Friday evening following the attack, security forces entered a number of Palestinian villages in the area, supported by military helicopters, to where the suspected terrorists could have fled, Channel 2 said. The nearby village of Yatta was also placed under closure.
The attack brings to 15 the number of Israelis killed in the current cycle of Palestinian terror and violence, which flared up during the Jewish New Year holiday in September. Some 200 Israelis have also been wounded in the car-ramming, shooting and knife attacks that have struck primarily in Jerusalem and the West Bank.