Israeli Father and Son Killed in Shooting Attack South of Hebron

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Scene of the shooting attack near Othniel settlement in the West Bank, with inset photographs of the father and son victims, November 13, 2015.
Scene of the shooting attack near Othniel settlement in the West Bank, with inset photographs of the father and son victims, November 13, 2015.Credit: Magen David Adom

An Israeli man and his son, Rabbi Ya'akov Litman and his son Netanel, were killed in a shooting attack south of Hebron in the West Bank on Friday afternoon. Their names were released on Saturday evening.

The two victims were laid to rest on Saturday at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery.

The two, aged 40 and 18, were driving with five other family members to a family event in the southern town of Meitar. At around 3 P.M. a shooter ambushed their vehicle near the settlement of Otniel in the southern Hebron hills area. Two other passengers, a woman and a 16-year-old male, were lightly and moderately wounded, and were rushed to Soroka Medical Center, Be'er Sheva, along with three girls in the vehicle who were suffering from shock.

Paramedics evacuate a 16-year-old boy wounded in the shooting. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The shooter is believed to have been waiting on the side of the road for an Israeli vehicle to drive by, and fled by car after the shooting. A preliminary investigation found that 14 bullets were fired at the family car. Large army forces were combing the area in search for the shooter, with the search noe focusing on the Palestinian towns of Yatta and Dhahiriya.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the attack: "We'll get to those despicable murderers and will prosecute them like we have done in the past."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon decided to deploy additional forces in the area following a meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, Military Intelligence head Maj. Gen. Herzi Levi and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Poli Mordechai. Soldiers from the infantry Golani Brigade training base are being deployed there, joining the seven IDF battalions already operating in the Hebron area

Islamist militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack as a "natural response to crimes conducted by the Israeli occupation."

Earlier on Friday, a 22-year-old Palestinian died a day after suffering wounds during clashes with Israeli forces near Hebron. Palestinian sources also reported four were wounded Friday during clashes with Israeli forces in the same area.

A week ago Friday, two shootings were carried out in the Hebron area. Near the village of Beit Anoun, north east of Hebron, a soldier was seriously wounded by gunfire, only a short time after two Israelis aged 18 and 16 were lightly and moderately wounded by a sniper near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. 

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