'Hundreds' of soldiers hunt for Palestinian gunmen who shot Israeli couple in West Bank


The IDF have deployed hundreds of soldiers in the West Bank in an attempt to find the Palestinian gunmen who killed an Israeli couple on Thursday night.

The couple, named as Eiran and Naama Henkin, aged in their 30s, were driving with their four young children between the settlements of Itamar and Elon Moreh.

The children, aged between four months and nine years, were reported to be uninjured.

The area south-east of the town of Nablus was declared a closed military zone.

The Henkins were buried in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, with thousands in attendance.

Speaking at the funeral, Mr Henkin's mother said that the children's grandparents would continue to raise them.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) that the couple "were shot to death when an assailant fired at their vehicle".

The car came under fire when they slowed down at a turn and a Palestinian vehicle accelerated toward them. Two attackers opened fire on the family with a handgun and a rifle. Both parents were struck multiple times in their upper bodies, paramedics said, and they were pronounced dead at the scene.

According to investigators, Mrs Henkin was killed immediately but Mr Henkin managed to get out of the vehicle and open the car’s back door, telling his children to flee the scene. He then collapsed on the road and died.

Investigators have also said that the attackers stopped their vehicle and verified that both parents were dead before speeding away toward a nearby Palestinian village.

Israeli President Reuben Rivlin said Israel would continue its "brave and unwavering fight against this cruel and heinous terrorism".

He said this was 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".

Chief Rabbi Mirvis responded to the 'senseless and brutal' murder of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, saying: "Our hearts go out to the Henkin family after the brutal killing of Rabbi Eitam and Naama. This is a terrible and shocking murder, and we weep, together with their children and their parents, Rabbi Yehudah and Rabbanit Chana Henkin, two of our generation’s finest teachers. May Hashem be with them all."

Below, video footage from the scene of the attack (credit: Ehud Amiton, Tazpit News Agency)

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