A high-speed afternoon shootout on an Israeli freeway left one man dead and sent police scrambling to the air in a helicopter in a frantic search for the gunmen, who vanished from the scene.

Central District police said Monday that the shootout happened mid-afternoon, in the northbound lane of Highway 42 near the entrance to Ayanot, near Nes Tziona. Someone in a passing car opened fire on the driver, who was wounded but managed to return.

After he was hit, the driver, 32-year-old Bilal Abu Hajij of Lod, managed to drive himself to Asaf Harofeh Hospital, where he died shortly after.

The other car was found abandoned not long after the shooting, and police are currently trying to find the shooter.

The murder led to the closing of a section of the northbound lanes of Highway 42 near the entrance to Rehovot, as crime scene officers worked in the area. 

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