Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will do all it can to catch the perpetrators of a firebomb attack on a Palestinian vehicle near the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin on Thursday night. Right-wing extremists are believed to be behind the attack, in which six people were wounded. At least four of the passengers wounded were members of the same family, two of them children.
The prime minister also asked special envoy, Yitzhak Molcho to convey his disapproval of the act to the Palestinian leadership on his behalf. According to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, "the prime minister considers this a highly disturbing incident and would like to offer all the help he can to those wounded." It said he would monitor the medical care that the wounded are receiving in Israel and offered all additional assistance. Molcho communicated the message to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. According to the online news portal Walla!, Molcho also talked with chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, on Friday and told him Netanyahu would personally check on the condition of those hurt and make sure the perpetrators are found. The prime minister also issued a condemnation in Arabic on his twitter account.
An Israeli police spokesman said forces were continuing to search the area of the incident, near the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin, for suspects involved in the attack. He said the injured were being treated in an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem.
"The main lead in the investigation suggests that Israeli civilians were responsible for the incident," said a military source who spoke on condition of anonymity. Israeli media said that tracks were found leading from the site of the incident to the nearby settlement.
Israel endured a spate of "price tag" attacks over the last year, in which right-wing extremists vandalized and sabotaged Palestinian buildings as well as Israeli military bases in isolated incidents. The term "price tag" is used to convey that for every act of Palestinian aggression or every Israeli government decision to remove a settlement, there will be a violent response.