Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, who were shot to death by Palestinian terrorists outside Otniel south of Hebron on Friday afternoon, were laid to rest in Jerusalem on Saturday night.
Five other family members – Litman’s wife, three daughters aged 5, 9, and 11, and a 16-year-old son – suffered minor wounds. The family was driving to a Shabbat pre-celebration of a fourth daughter’s wedding when the gunmen opened fire on their vehicle. All five were lightly wounded by shrapnel and the resulting crash, but were not shot.
Ya’akov was struck first and Netanel was shot while calling for help, according to the IDF Spokesman. The 16-yearold son was able to reach Magen David Adom.
Army units have since launched an intensive search and imposed a siege on the nearby Arab village of Yata.
All roads in the area have been closed until the suspects are apprehended, the IDF said.
According to MDA paramedic Noam Bar, who attempted to save the father and son, neither man could be resuscitated.
“When we arrived at the scene, we saw seven people outside of a van, two of whom, a man in his 40s and an 18-year-old youth, were lying unconscious with gunshot wounds to their upper bodies,” said Bar. “They were showing no signs of life, and there was no other choice but to pronounce them dead at the scene.”
Bar said that his team administered first aid to the Litmans’ 16-year-old son, who was lightly wounded after being shot in the leg. He was rushed to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment. Four others were treated for shock.
Following the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to hunt down the killers and bring them to justice.
“We will find these lowlife murderers and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, just as we have done in the past,” Netanyahu said, adding that Israel will continue to fight terrorism “wherever it strikes.”
Speaking at the funeral, President Reuven Rivlin said even in the face of terror “we are not afraid, we do not surrender and we do not back down. Our history is intertwined with this land.”
He continued, “The events that target us remind us every day that our presence here is not obvious.”
The president praised Rabbi Yaakov Litman for his work as a teacher, and Netanel’s work as MDA volunteer. He also drew comparisons to the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris on Friday.
“In Paris, Hebron, Jerusalem and New York, we must fight a bitter and persistent war against those who murder innocent people in cold blood.”
Hamas praised the killers as “heroic,” although did not claim responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources in Gaza said passersby handed out candy in the streets to celebrate the murders.
Yaakov Lappin and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.