"Seven people, including a family of five with young children, were lightly wounded in the West Bank Friday afternoon when a Palestinian man hurled acid into their car, before being shot and seriously wounded," the Times of Israel reported.
According to the media outlet, the attack occurred between the Gush Etzion settlement of Beitar Illit and the Palestinian village of Husan, not far from a checkpoint, on Friday, December 11, when the family stopped to pick up a hitchhiker.
The perpetrator has been identified as Jamal Abd al-Majid Ghayatha, 45, a Palestinian national, who served a term in an Israeli prison some years ago. The man was "known to have been previously involved in illegal and hostile riots and activities," an official statement released by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) said. After spraying acid on the Israeli family, Ghayatha, armed with a screwdriver tried to attack bystanders, but was twice shot by an armed civilian. The Palestinian was then captured by Border Police officers.
The Washington Post stresses that the assault took place amid growing tensions sparked by the death of Ziad Abu Ein, a high-ranked Palestinian official, during a violent skirmish between settlement protesters and Israeli police in the West Bank. Although the exact cause of Abu Zein's death, who allegedly died from a heart attack, remains unclear, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has already blamed Israel for the "killing" of the Palestinian minister. The tragic case has resulted in increased violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The PA leadership is "set to meet Sunday to discuss its options, including the possibility of joining the International Criminal Court in the Hague," the Washington Post underscores.