Five West Bank Settlers stabbed to death
Israeli sources reported that an unknown assailant, presumed to be Palestinian, attacked a family of Israeli settlers in their house in Itamar settlement late Friday night. Israeli authorities have called the murder of the family, which included a 3-year old and a baby, a terror attack.
The area around Itamar settlement in the northern West Bank, near the city of Nablus, has been the site of a number of recent attacks against Palestinians by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the last several weeks, including the beating, stoning and shooting of Palestinians with live ammunition by Israeli settlers.
Friday night’s attack was carried out by an unknown attacker who is presumed to be a Palestinian, and Israeli soldiers streamed into the settlement following the attack and set up a perimeter. The troops then invaded several nearby Palestinian villages and set up checkpoints along nearby Palestinian roads.
According to Israeli media reports, the victims were killed while sleeping in their beds, and include a mother, father, 11-year old, 3-year old and an infant. Another child, 12, reportedly managed to escape to a neighbor’s house to call for help.
The details of the attack are still unclear, and the assailant is still at large. Initial reports indicate that the killer was acting alone, with no connection to any Palestinian group.
If the attack was carried out by a Palestinian with a political motivation, this would mark the largest single attack on Israeli civilians in six years. Israeli forces have killed over 1200 Palestinian civilians in the last six years.