Two Israeli civilians – a father and a son – were shot dead and another youth was wounded in a terrorist shooting outside of Otniel on Route 60 in the South Mount Hebron region on Friday afternoon.
A Palestinian gunman fired at an Israeli vehicle, killing the two civilians, before fleeing the area, the IDF Spokesman Unit said. Army units have launched a large search of the area, with troops imposing a siege on the nearby village of Yata.
The fatalities have been identified as Ya’akov Litman and his son, Natanel.
All routes in the area are closed while security forces are searching for the suspect.
“When we arrived at the scene, we saw seven people outside of a van, two of whom, a man in his 40s and an 18-year-old youth, were lying unconscious with gunshot wounds to their upper bodies,” said Noam Bar, an MDA paramedic. “They were showing no signs of life, and there was no other choice but to pronounce them dead at the scene.”
Bar said that his team administered first aid to a 16-year-old boy who was lightly wounded after being shot in one of his extremities. He was rushed to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment. Four others were treated for shock.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday reacted to the shooting attack.
“We will find these lowlife murderers and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, just as we have done in the past,” Netanyahu said.
The premier vowed that Israel would continue to fight terrorism “wherever it strikes.”
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement, praised the “heroic” killings, though it stopped short of claiming credit for the attack.
According to Palestinian sources in Gaza, passersby are handing out candy in the streets to celebrate the shootings.