Two women were killed in a terrorist shooting attack in the Jordan Valley Friday morning, with a third woman critically wounded.
An army spokesperson said the attack occurred near the Israeli town of Hamra, and that the IDF has launched a manhunt for the terrorists responsible for the shooting.
"Following the reports of a shooting attack at the Hamra Junction, a report was received regarding a car accident between a Palestinian and an Israeli vehicle. IDF soldiers who were dispatched to the scene located numerous bullet hits on the Israeli vehicle, it was indicated that the accident was in fact a shooting attack."
"As a result, three Israeli women were injured, two of them were killed. IDF soldiers are blocking routes adjacent to the scene of the shooting attack, a pursuit after the terrorists has begun."
The fatally wounded victims have been identified as two sisters in their 20s from the town of Efrat, south of Jerusalem.
The critically wounded victim is their 48-year-old mother.
The family immigrated to Israel from the United Kingdom.
The mother was rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she is listed in critical and unstable condition.
Emergency first responders from MDA and United Hatzalah were dispatched to the scene to treat the victims, but were forced to declare two of the victims dead at the scene.
United Hatzalah regional paramedic Oded Shabbat, who was one of the first responders at the scene relayed: "When I arrived I found three people who were in critical condition. Together with other first responders, I performed CPR on the injured in an attempt to save their lives. One injured person was transported by helicopter to the hospital for further care."
MDA paramedic Denis Polkov reported from the scene: "When we arrived at the scene, we saw an Israeli vehicle with three injured women and a Palestinian vehicle. Two young women in their 20s were pulled out of the vehicle, they were unconscious without a pulse and not breathing, with multi-system injuries and after medical tests they were pronounced dead at the scene. A 40-year-old woman was suffering from severe multi-system injuries, and we are fighting for her life at the scene."
Following the attack, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) announced he will convene a situation assessment with senior officials in the defense establishment.
Investigators dispatched to the scene of the attack have found 22 shell casings thus far. Authorities believe the terrorists either escaped on foot, or were driven by someone from the area.
Yesha Council Leader and head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council Shlomo Ne'eman commented: "In the face of terrorism, we have to put aside our differences and act with an iron fist.”
Ne’eman added “A terrible terrorist attack took place today, on Passover, in the Jordan Valley. Despicable and heartless people murdered young women on their way to celebrate the holiday. Our only enemy is terror which raises its head and must be eliminated. The terrorists must be caught and not left alive.
"It is time to stop with these defensive policies and go on the offensive. Only heavy-handed actions against the enemy and the continued construction and development of Jewish communities will restore peace to the region."
"No terror will cause us to surrender, we will continue to live and thrive in the land of our ancestors."
"We send our condolences to the families and send our best wishes for a complete recovery to the person injured in the attack."
Oded Ravivi, head of the Efrat Local Council, commented: "It is with great sadness that we received the news on a shocking attack in which terrorists shot at a vehicle containing a mother and her two daughters, residents of Efrat. The two daughters were murdered and the mother is in critical condition. The father of the family who was driving in another vehicle in front turned around and witnessed the efforts to care for his wife and daughters."
"The council, the welfare and education department accompany the family members, are in contact with the welfare personnel in the Jordan Valley who are near the father of the family and his children. Welfare teams from the Efrat Council are on their way to the hospital and the Valley. The head of the council is in contact with all the parties."
The family is reported to have immigrated to Israel from Britain. The British ambassador to Israel commented on the attack: "I am appalled by the attack in the Jordan Valley today. Such terrorist attacks are unjustifiable, and particularly shocking at what should be a joyful time for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. My condolences to the families of those killed, may their memories be a blessing."
Readers are asked to say Tehillim for Leah bat Tsipora