Two Israeli civilians were shot and killed on Saturday in a suspected Palestinian attack near the village of Huwara in the occupied West Bank, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The shooting took place at a car wash, where the gunman reportedly approached on foot and opened fire with a handgun. The victims were identified as a father and son, aged 60 and 29, who were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
The IDF said it was pursuing the suspects and had set up blockades in the area. Huwara, located on a main road south of Nablus, has been a flashpoint of violence between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, who often use the road to access their nearby settlements.
In February, two Israeli settler brothers were killed in a shooting attack near Huwara, which sparked a rampage by a large crowd of settlers who set fire to Palestinian homes and vehicles in the village.
The Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack, without directly claiming responsibility for it. Hamas spokesperson Abdel-Latif al-Qanou said the shooting was “the product of the promise to defend our people and respond to the crimes of the occupation”. Islamic Jihad called it “a heroic operation that reflects the determination of our people to continue their struggle until they achieve their rights”.
Netanyahu condemned the attack
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to the family of the victims. He said the security forces were “working diligently to find the murderer and come to terms with him, just as we have done with all the murderers so far”.
He also vowed to strengthen the security of Israeli citizens in the West Bank and to prevent further attacks.
The West Bank has also witnessed sporadic clashes and protests by Palestinians against Israeli occupation and settlement expansion, which are considered illegal under international law. The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has been stalled for years, with no prospects of resuming negotiations in the near future.