Israeli Teen Hurt as Assailants Pelt Car With Rocks in West Bank

12-year-old girl moderately hurt; 'Our lives have been left unprotected and the defense minister is doing nothing' says resident of the area.

A 12-year-old Israeli girl was moderately wounded on Thursday evening when assailants hurled rocks at a car she was traveling in near the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

Soldiers at site of terror attack Reuters Aug. 31, 2010

Israel Defense Forces troops attended to the girl, administering first aid, and she was subsequently transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva for further care.

The IDF launched a manhunt in search of the stone throwers.

The victim was traveling with her parents on a highway going east from Ariel. Near the village of Marda, stones began pelting the vehicle. When the girl sustained injuries to her head, her parents drove to the Tapuah Junction, where there was a large IDF presence in light of shooting attacks in the region on the two previous nights.

Sagi Chrysler, who was also hit by rocks while driving in the area, told Haaretz "I was driving on the road to Ariel, when two rocks hit the car. I was with the entire family – four children in the car. Our security is deteriorating, our lives left unprotected, and the defense minister is doing nothing."

On Tuesday, four Israelis were killed when unknown assailants opened fire at a vehicle they were traveling in near the West Bank city of Hebron. The following night, two Israelis were wounded in a similar shooting attack at the Rimonim Junction near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Earlier Thursday, Palestinian sources told Haaretz that the Palestinian security forces had apprehended two Hamas-affiliated Hebron residents suspected to have been involved in the deadly shooting attack on Tuesday.

The attacks coincided with the launch of U.S.-sponsored direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in Washington. The Islamist Palestinian group Hamas has come out vocally against the talks. Claiming responsibility for Tuesday's and Wednesday's shootings, Hamas vowed to carry out further attacks.