April 7, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinian Gunmen Kill Two Sisters, Critically Injure Mother in West Bank Attack

April 7, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinian Gunmen Kill Two Sisters, Critically Injure Mother in West Bank Attack

Latest Developments

Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli sisters and critically wounded their mother during an ambush in the Jordan Valley on Friday. The attack, which occurred on a normally quiet stretch of desert road outside the tiny community of Hamra, marks the spread to the West Bank of violence occurring in the borders of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip in the past few days.

Hamra is some 15 miles east of Nablus, a Palestinian city that has been a focus of Israeli counterterrorism sweeps over the past year. Israeli security forces are pursuing the gunmen who shot the two sisters, who fled the scene in their own car.

Expert Analysis

“This terror attack comes hours after Israel struck Hamas targets in Lebanon in response to cross-border rocket fire. Israel will likely be examining the possibility that Iran-backed Hamas, which has long sought to run West Bank operations from its base in the Gaza Strip, has managed to set up a network of Jordan Valley cells.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The Jericho area saw two shooting attacks early this year on the nearby Jerusalem highway, one of which killed an Israeli-American motorist. On February 6, Israeli forces killed five Hamas terrorists in a raid on the town. Friday’s attack in a more northern area of the Jordan Valley may be an attempt to deter Israelis from using Highway 90, which leads to the Sea of Galilee.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Father First at Scene

The victims’ family immigrated from the United Kingdom and lived in the West Bank city of Efrat. Israeli media reported one of the slain sisters is 15-years-old and the other is in her 20s. Their 48-year-old mother survived with critical injuries. Her husband, the sisters’ father, was traveling with two other children in another car. Having heard the shooting, he turned around and was among the first responders at the scene.

Police said initial evidence indicated that two gunmen, using a car equipped with stolen Israeli license plates, collided with the women’s vehicle to force them off the road, at which point the terrorists shot them. In response, Israel’s Defense Ministry ordered stepped-up security on the main West Bank arteries.

Hamas Praises Attack

Hamas issued a statement on Friday praising the attack and warning Israel “against its continued aggression against our Palestinian people and Al-Aqsa Mosque.” According to the Israel Defense Forces, Hamas was also responsible for a salvo of 34 rockets fired at Israeli civilian targets on Thursday.

British Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan tweeted that he was “appalled” and sent his condolences to the family, writing that “such terrorist attacks are unjustifiable, and particularly shocking at what should be a joyful time for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike.”

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted that he was “horrified to see the deadly terror attack,” adding that he was praying for peace during the holidays of Passover and Ramadan.

Further Analysis

IDF Intercepts Rocket Barrage from Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief

Mapping Terrorism in the West Bank,” by Joe Truzman


Israel Jihadism Palestinian Politics