The parents of a pregnant Israeli woman who was seriously injured in a shooting attack outside a West Bank settlement on Sunday said that their daughter’s condition was improving after a night in intensive care, but still serious. The condition of her baby boy, who was delivered by C-section, has worsened, however, doctors said Monday afternoon, adding that they were fighting to save his life and that the next few hours would be critical.
“We were able to go into intensive care. She opened her eyes and asked for Mom, so we rushed in,” Haim Silverstein, father of Shira Ish-Ran, told reporters Monday afternoon. “She got teary-eyed when she saw us. She got so emotional that we had to leave, because her pulse went up too much.”
Silverstein added, “There’s nothing like seeing your daughter open her eyes and communicate with her eyes, because her mouth was full of tubes.” He said doctors had brought her out of sedation to check on her status, but put her under again afterwards for her safety.
Ish-Ran’s mother, Liora, said, “I saw that she wanted to hold our hand so I gave her my hand and she held it. I saw her looking at her dad and he also gave his hand. And then I saw tears streaming down her cheeks. I saw that she was trying to speak, but she couldn’t because of the tubes connected to her. So I sang to her and we told her that all the people of Israel were praying for her. She’s a miracle, and she has the most wonderful medical team looking after her.”
Ish-Ran was seriously hurt when a group of terrorists in a passing car opened fire at Israeli civilians waiting at a bus stop outside the settlement of Ofra, injuring seven people. Ish-Ran’s husband, Amichai, was moderately injured in the attack.
Doctors performed an emergency cesarean section on Ish-Ran, who was 30 weeks pregnant, and delivered her baby. The boy was immediately transferred to the ward for premature babies at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Initially said to be in “stable” condition, the baby’s condition worsened, the hospital said Monday. He was hooked up to a ventilator and undergoing treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Amichai’s father, Rafael Ish-Ran, sitting alongside the Silversteins on Monday, said that the couple had visited him and his wife, and had been on their way home to the settlement of Elon Moreh when they were caught in the attack.
“Apparently, the terrorists studied the habits of settlers and they approached, as we’ve seen in videos, slowed down and then fired. They saw a pregnant woman and thought, ‘Great, that’s what we should hit’ and fired,” Ish-Ran said.
He added that the attack happened as Chabad and Breslover cars celebrating Hanukkah arrived, blasting music from loudspeakers. “Everyone looked toward them and then they heard blasts. Amichai said that at first they thought it was part of the music, but when they started seeing shrapnel on the floor they realized it was a terror attack,” he said.
“Amichai started running along with everyone else, but then he looked around and saw his wife wasn’t with him. He ran to her and saw her on the floor. He stopped her bleeding with his hands until help arrived,” he added.
Haim Silverstein said that while settlers “greatly appreciate the work of the IDF, Shin Bet, and everyone else in the area,” they also felt that the army was being held back from “reestablishing deterrence…so that terrorists and degenerates will think twice, or 10 times, before carrying out such acts. The settlers feel the IDF needs to take a tougher approach.”
His wife, Liora, added: “We want to send a clear message to the government that it’s unthinkable that sweet innocent children are shot at. We cannot accept such a reality.”
The military’s search for the perpetrators of the attack entered its second day on Monday, with troops setting up roadblocks and sweeping nearby Palestinian villages.
“IDF soldiers, Border Police officers and security forces are searching the villages in the area. At the same time, the IDF’s intelligence efforts are continuing,” the army said Monday. “The IDF will continue to act until the terrorists are captured and security is restored to residents.”
During the searches, Israeli troops entered the town of Silwad, outside Ramallah and just north of Ofra, late Sunday night, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Wafa news outlet.
In Silwad, local residents clashed with the Israeli troops, throwing rocks and other objects at the military vehicles. In response, the soldiers fired tear gas and other less-lethal riot dispersal weapons at the rioters, according to Wafa. No Palestinian injuries were reported.
The northern entrance to al-Bireh, a town adjacent to Ramallah, was also closed in both directions on Sunday night, Wafa reported.
Two months ago, a Palestinian terrorist shot dead two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Park. He is still on the run.
Judah Ari Gross and Jacob Magid contributed to this report.