A 6-year-old Israeli child was killed and six other people, including four family members, were wounded in a crash Wednesday on Route 60 near the West Bank city of Ariel.
The child, Matan Tsinman, was in his family’s car with his mother and three of his siblings when it underwent a head-on collision with a Palestinian vehicle with two occupants. The mother, who was driving, said the Palestinian car swerved into her lane.
Magen David Adom paramedics found Matan Tsinman unconscious at the site and took him in critical condition to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. Despite resuscitation efforts he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
He was set to enter first grade in the fall.
The rest of the car’s passengers, including the child’s 12-year-old sister, 10-year-old brother and his mother, were taken to Jerusalem hospitals. His sister was in serious condition, while his mother and brother were in moderate condition. The remaining passenger — the family’s 6-month-old son — was lightly injured and received medical treatment at the scene.
“My heart is with the Tsinman family this morning,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid tweeted Thursday. “Sending condolences from the bottom of my heart and best wishes for a speedy recovery to his family and friends.”
The driver and passenger in the Palestinian car were moderately hurt and were treated by MDA paramedics at the site before being taken to a Nablus-area hospital by workers from the Palestine Red Crescent Society.
Rivka Tsinman, Matan’s mother, said that they were driving to Ariel for a family event. She said a Palestinian vehicle swerved from the opposite lane.
“I slowed down, but the Palestinian vehicle sped up. I realized that it was going to hit me head-on and I was unable to stop. The collision was at enormous speed,” she said.
On Thursday, she said she believed that the collision was deliberate and that it was a terror attack.
“My little son was murdered. It was a deliberate crash, an attack, they wanted to hurt me. I saw what happened, I was fully conscious. I ask that they open an investigation into the matter. It was a terrorist attack,” she said.
There has been no indication from security services that they believe the collision was a terror attack.
The family, residents of the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, were receiving support from the Binyamin Regional Council.
“A heavy grief has befallen us. Little Matan was snatched away from us,” regional council head Israel Gantz said.
Settler groups said they would hold a demonstration on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. at junctions along Route 60 to protest what they called the “Arab terror” on West Bank roads.
Religious Zionism leader MK Bezalel Smotrich, who has previously served as transportation minister, said Thursday that the roads of the West Bank have “fallen through the cracks.”
“Everyone who travels on the roads of [the West Bank] experiences firsthand the culture of Arab driving on the roads and the huge infrastructure gaps,” the right-wing lawmaker said.