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Israeli killed, 3 injured in shooting on Route 60 south of Hebron

July 1, 2016 3:28 P.M. (Updated: July 3, 2016 3:45 P.M.)
One killed, three wounded after shots fired at family driving near Hebron (Photo: Israeli army)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli was killed and three others injured, at least one critically, in a shooting directed at an Israeli family's vehicle on Route 60 between the illegal Israeli settlements of Beit Hagai and Otniel south of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed shots were fired at a family's vehicle driving on Route 60, killing one person and wounding three others, causing the car to crash.

Israeli news site Ynet reported that the father died on the scene after medics attempted to resuscitate him, while the mother sustained critical injuries, and their two children were also injured.

Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner ‏said that the wounded were evacuated to hospitals in Jerusalem for medical treatment, and that the Israeli army was still searching the Hebron area for suspects, having closed the road to traffic.

The family was reportedly driving south on Route 60 when they were overtaken by another vehicle and came under fire, with some 20 shots being fired.

Witnesses told Israeli newspaper Haaretz they saw an overturned car on the side of a road near the settlement of Otneil and an Israeli army outpost.

Israeli media identified the man killed in the attack as Michael Marc, a father of 10 from Otniel, and his wife, who was critically wounded, as Havi. Two of their children, Pdaya, 15, and Tehila, 14, sustained moderate and light wounds, respectively.

The incident occurred some 15 kilometers south of Kiryat Arba, the Israeli settlement where a 13-year-old Israeli girl was stabbed to death by a Palestinian teen on Thursday. He was shot and killed in the incident, and later identified as 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayra from the village of Bani Naim in Hebron.

Haaretz reported that the suspect behind Friday's shooting was also suspected to be from Bani Naim.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian woman -- also reportedly from Bani Naim -- who allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron, the third attack to result in a Palestinian being killed in less than two days.

It remained unclear if and how the three were related, as the woman slain Friday, Sarah Tarayra, shared the same surname as the teen who carried out Thursday's attack.

On Thursday evening, a Palestinian man was shot dead by an Israeli civilian after allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack at a market in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya, which left two Israelis wounded. Israeli forces have since sealed his hometown, the village of Shweika in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem.

Another Palestinian died from tear gas inhalation during clashes at the Qalandiya checkpoint on Friday.

Since the killing
in Kiryat Arba, Bani Naim has been sealed by Israeli forces, with only urgent humanitarian cases allowed passage through Israeli checkpoints, in a punitive response to the attack. A general closure was later implemented on the city of Hebron in response to Thursday and Friday's incidents, in what will affect tens of thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank's most populous city.

Such actions have been condemned by rights groups, who have said Israel's punitive measures following suspected attacks amount to “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.

Michael Marc joins some 32 Israelis to be killed by Palestinians in a wave of unrest that began in October, marked by a number of small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israeli targets. More than 220 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces on site during clashes or while allegedly committing attacks or attempting to commit attacks.

In recent months, Israel has accused Palestinian leadership of “inciting terror” and detained scores of Palestinians over Facebook posts that Israeli authorities alleged were responsible for an increase in alleged attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli military targets and settlers.

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.
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