Up to six Israelis were wounded in an acid attack in the West Bank Friday after a Palestinian man dumped acid on a Jewish family and then started stabbing people with a screwdriver in a suspected terrorist attack. An Israeli civilian hit the Palestinian man with a car and then shot him in the leg, according to Haaretz.
The attack occurred on a highway linking Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The victims, including a woman and three girls, were lightly wounded. They reported a burning sensation on their skin and respiratory problems. The Palestinian suspect was arrested and taken for treatment to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. He was in serious condition, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Some media reports said the Palestinian man had been hitchhiking near a security checkpoint when a Jewish family of six picked him up. He then threw acid on the passangers in the vehicle and attacked them with a screwdriver, but other media reports suggested the attack happened on a street in the open.
Hitchhiking is a serious problem in Israel; a handful of terrorist attacks saw Arabs in vehicles targeting Israelis. Government officials have vowed to erect protective barricades at 20 hitchhiking posts in the West Bank.
At least 11 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly in Jerusalem, since November. There have also been attacks in Tel Aviv. Acid attacks are not common in Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to the Associated Press.
The West Bank was still reeling from the death of Ziad Abu Ain, a senior Palestinian Authority official who died after a confrontation with Israeli soldiers, with thousands of residents and foreign dignitaries attending his state funeral Thursday, according to CNN. Soon after, Palestinian youths attacked the Israeli military in the West Bank, and the Israeli military responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and a chemical spray that smells like sewage.
Abu Ein died near the West Bank city of Ramallah Wednesday while participating in nonviolent demonstrations marking Human Rights Day.