A husband and wife in their 30s, Eitam and Na'ama Henkin from the settlment of Neria, were killed in a drive-by shooting attack on the road between Itamar and Elon Moreh in the West Bank on Thursday night. Their four children aged 9, 7, 4 and 4 months were in the car and were said to be physically unharmed but treated for shock.
The IDF confirmed that two Israelis were killed in the shooting attack, and that its forces were conducting sweeps in the area in an attempt to capture the perpetrators.
"It was a very difficult sight," said MDA paramedic Boaz Malka. "We saw a car in the middle of the road with a man in his thirties next to it with wounds to his upper body, and a woman in her thirties inside the car also seriously wounded in her upper body. They were without signs of life, and unfortunately we had to declare them dead at the scene."
President Reuven Rivlin also condemned the attack, saying: "Tonight, bloodthirsty murderers claimed the lives of a mother and a father, leaving their young children orphaned. The heart breaks at the magnitude of such cruelty and hatred.
"We will continue in our brave and unwavering fight against this cruel and heinous terrorism - of this our enemies can be sure," continued the president. "This is our duty, and the only way we can ensure the right of the orphans who lost their parents tonight, along with the right of all our children and grandchildren, to live with security and in peace, everywhere in the Land of Israel."
A 28-year-old woman was also injured Thursday night after rocks were thrown at her near the Itzhar junction. Magen David Adom paramedics transported her to Belinson Hospital in Petah Tikqvah.
The attack occurred a mere hour after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu derided Palestinian incitement from the podium above the UN General Assembly.
Tensions and disturbances in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have been particularly high during the Jewish High Holy Days, even in comparison to many months of sporadic violence.
In late August, an Israeli was shot while driving from inside a passing vehicle bearing an Israeli license plate at Jit Junction in the West Bank.
At the end of June, Malachi Rosenfeld, 25, was fatally wounded and three others were moderately wounded in a drive-by shooting near Shilo. At least 15 9mm bullets hit the car.