Israeli family targeted in West Bank acid attack

Alleged Palestinian attacked a six-person family with acid near Bethlehem; suspect neutralized.

Scene of acid attack. (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
Scene of acid attack.
(photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
A Palestinian man attacked an Israeli man and a family at a hitchhiking post south of Gush Etzion on Friday.
Four girls ages eight to 10, a woman and a hitchhiker the family picked up all sustained light burns in the incident. A passerby who came to their rescue, shot and wounded the attacker in the leg.
According to an initial IDF investigation, the incident began at the El-Khader junction, near the Minharot checkpoint, where a Haredi man hitchhiking was picked up by a woman with four children in her vehicle. As the man entered the car, a 44-year-old Palestinian threw a bottle with an acidic agent at them, causing burns to the man, woman and children.
“He fled east on foot, and pulled out a screwdriver,” said a senior IDF officer who investigated the incident.
A driver in another vehicle pulled over and, together with the Haredi man, began to pursue the attacker who then turned around and headed toward them.
Meanwhile, another Israeli vehicle traveling in the area struck the attacker, and the driver, a local resident, exited the vehicle. Armed with a handgun, he fired two shots at the legs of the Palestinian who was still holding the screwdriver and advancing toward the pursuing Israelis.
Magen David Adom paramedics and security forces arrived at the scene, and the wounded were evacuated to the Hadassah University Medical Center, in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
It was unclear exactly what substance was thrown at the victims.
Earlier on Friday, a Palestinian driver crashed into a security barrier close to where two IDF soldiers were standing outside a military outpost in the West Bank near Nablus. No soldiers were injured. The driver, however, was lightly hurt.
Although at first it was unclear if the incident was an attempted terrorist attack, later in the day an IDF spokeswoman said a preliminary investigation suggested that it was a car accident. The police backed the army’s theory, saying that after its own investigation it was concluded that the driver had lost control of his vehicle.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.