The Israeli couple killed were identified as Eitam and Na'ama Henkin from the West Bank settlement of Neria.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israeli officials denied a Channel 10 report on Friday claiming that the Palestinian Authority warned Israel's security services that gunmen were planning to shoot and kill settlers in an attack that left a couple dead and four children orphaned.
The attack, which took place near the entrance to the northern West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh, claimed the lives of Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, a couple in their 30s, while they were driving home with four of their six children, aged four months to 9 years, from Hebron. The children were not wounded in the attack.
According to Channnel 10, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered his security apparatus to carry out preemptive arrests in hopes of averting an escalation of tensions on the ground.
In addition, the Palestinian security forces have been instructed to tighten their cooperation with their Israeli counterparts in a bid to allow cooler heads to prevail.
Israeli security forces said they were optimistic they would be able to track down the perpetrators of the attack.
One of the mysteries surrounding the investigation is why the terrorists left the scene without harming the four children in the back seat of the car.
Investigators believe that one possibility is that the terrorists were in a rush to flee the scene of the crime, hence they spared the children. Another possibility which experts believe less likely is that the gunmen wanted to demonstrate to the world that their intended targets were settlers and that they did not wish to be seen as killers of children.