Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed early Monday that Israeli forces would not rest until they catch the terrorists behind the shooting attack that critically wounded a young pregnant Israeli woman and six others.
“We will not rest until we find these murderous criminals,” Netanyahu said in a video posted to his Facebook page.
“We are all praying for the well-being of the young mother who is fighting for her life,” Netanyahu said, noting that “her baby was saved.”
He also wished a speedy recovery to the six other people, including the father of the baby, who were wounded in the attack that occurred Sunday evening when at least one Palestinian gunman opened fire at a crowd of people waiting at a bus stop outside the Israeli West Bank settlement of Ofra.
The woman, 21, suffered wounds to her upper body and was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, in Jerusalem, where doctors delivered the baby and were battling to save her life. The baby was in a “stable” condition.
Troops were carrying out searches in the West Bank in a Palestinian town near the site of the attack. The northern entrance to al-Bireh, a town adjacent to Ramallah, was closed in both directions, the official Palestinian Authority news site Wafa reported.
In security camera video of the shooting, posted to social media, a white car is seen slowing down near the bus stop, after which bullets can be seen striking the crowd who scramble for cover. The car, which comes to a stop for a few moments while the shooting apparently continues, then speeds off down the road as IDF soldiers are seen running to bus stop.
The car from which the shots were fired was believed to have at least two occupants.
US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt on Sunday slammed the terror attack, terming it an “absolutely disgusting” act and calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn it.
“Absolutely Disgusting – Terrorists attack a group of Israelis celebrating Hanukkah. My prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families,” Greenblatt said in a tweet. “President Abbas, will you condemn the act this time??”
Absolutely Disgusting – Terrorists attack a group of Israelis celebrating Hanukkah. My prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families. President Abbas, will you condemn the act this time??
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) December 9, 2018
The attack occurred on the eighth and final night of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
Outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley also responded to the news of the attack, condemning the Palestinian Authority for their practice of paying terrorists.
“A short time ago, a despicable terrorist fired from a vehicle at Israelis – including a pregnant woman – in Ofra. Once caught, the Palestinian Authority will pay the terrorist a monthly salary, as this is part of the PA’s incitement campaign, which encourages such attacks,” tweeted Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
Haley retweeted him, saying “These payments need to stop.”
These payments need to stop. https://t.co/UH8I1W0C4W
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 9, 2018
There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian Authority, which rules most of the Palestinian areas of the West Bank.
The Gaza-based Hamas terror group praised the attack as “heroic” but stopped short of claiming credit for the attack.