An 11-year-old Israeli girl was seriously injured in a firebomb attack in the West Bank Thursday evening, Israeli military and medical officials said.
Ayala Shapira and her father Avner were driving home near a West Bank settlement in the northern West Bank when their car was struck by a Molotov cocktail.
The girl suffered third degree burns over the majority of her body and face and was placed in an induced coma.
Professor Zeev Rotstein, director of the Sheba Medical Center, said that she suffered life threatening burns to her torso, head, arms and legs, and that “we will do everything in order to save her life.”
The father suffered minor burns to his limbs.
The father told Ynet that he and his daughter were on their way home when they turned onto the road connecting Maale Shomron and the illegal outpost of El Matan, where the Shapira family lives. He said his wife’s car was firebombed last month as well, but she managed to avoid injuries. The car, however, was damaged in the attack.
After the attack, the father reportedly rescued his daughter from the burning vehicle and carried her over a kilometer to the nearest town to call for help, Channel 2 reported.
“We saw the firebomb being lit above the road and the bottle being thrown,” Shapira said from his hospital bed. “I shouted to my daughter to get out [of the car] and she managed to do it. Thanks to the grace of God we managed to get out of the car, but she was injured much more seriously than I.”
“We hope that the hospital staff will succeed in returning her to her previous condition,” Shapira told Ynet.
Ayala is the eldest of five girls. Her mother Ruth said she is a “very special child” and “smart in an exceptional way.”
“If she wasn’t such a quick-witted child, we wouldn’t be talking right now,” Ruth Shapira told Ynet.
According to the IDF, the attack occurred on Route 55 outside the Maaleh Shomron settlement at about 6:30 p.m.
Large numbers of IDF troops were deployed to the area following the incident to search for the perpetrators.
Video of firefighters fighting the blaze showed the car consumed by flames and completely destroyed in the attack.
President Reuven Rivlin tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” and that “our thoughts and prayers for a full recovery are with her and her family.”
Deeply saddened to think of young #Ayala fighting for her life. Our thoughts and prayers for a full recovery are with her and her family.
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) December 25, 2014
The father and daughter were evacuated by Magen David Adom paramedics to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer for treatment.