An Israeli woman was killed in a suspected Palestinian shooting attack near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, the Israeli military said.
Israel’s ambulance service said an Israeli man who was also seriously wounded in the incident was transferred to hospital and that a 6-year-old who was in the car was “miraculously unharmed.”
The military said in a statement it had set up roadblocks and was searching for the suspects, who it said fired from a passing vehicle.
A spokesperson for the Hamas group that governs blockaded Gaza, Hazem Qassem, praised the attack and said it was a response to Israel’s ongoing assaults on Palestinians.
Violence in the West Bank has surged over the past 15 months with stepped up military raids, Israeli settler rampages, and Palestinian street attacks.
Israel, which was already hunting for a Palestinian suspected of shooting and killing two Israelis on Saturday, said it saw involvement from arch-foe Iran in the recent escalation of violence.
“The significant change that is taking place on the ground, it is related to Iranian funding and to the proliferation of weapons under the Iranian directive. Iran seeks every means to harm the citizens of Israel,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. He did not give any other details.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking with Gallant at the scene of Monday’s shooting, said Israel would settle the score with the attackers and those who sent them, “from near and far.”
Both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, two of the largest armed Palestinian groups, are supported by Tehran.
Hours after Monday’s shooting, Palestinians reported that Israeli troops entered a village near the city of Nablus, sparking clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians. Eight people were wounded by Israeli fire, one seriously, medical officials said. Israel’s army said it was checking the report.
In Gaza, a crowd of Palestinians gathered near the border fence with Israel marking the anniversary of a 1969 arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli army said “hundreds of rioters” were near the fence, some hurling explosive devices and rocks. It said soldiers responded with sniper fire and riot dispersal means. The Palestinians reported two people wounded by Israeli fire.
US-brokered peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, collapsed in 2014 and show no sign of revival.
Israel captured those territories in the 1967 Middle East war. Its growing settlements in the West Bank, where Palestinian have limited self-rule, are considered by most countries as illegal, a view that Israel disputes.