Israel pursues Palestinians who killed Israelis
Saturday, March 12, 2022 3:00 AM

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(Source: Associated Press/AP Online)JERUSALEM - The Israeli military says it will "bring to justice" the Palestinian attackers who stabbed five members of an Israeli family to death as they slept in a West Bank settlement.

Avi Mizrachi, commander of the military's Central Command, made the remarks Saturday morning a few hours after the grisly attack. "This was a very harsh terror attack, a whole family was wiped out by despicable cowardly murderers who came in the dead of night and killed innocent children, a woman and man as they slept," Mizrachi said.

The Friday night attack at the settlement of Itamar is the first against settlers in months and the first of its kind and scope in years.

It comes as Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts are at a standstill and could complicate efforts to restart them.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ITAMAR, West Bank (AP) - A Palestinian infiltrated a Jewish West Bank settlement early Saturday and killed five people, the Israeli military said.

Israeli media is reporting that the dead are all members of the same family - parents and three children. The family - including an 11-year-old, a 3-year-old and an infant - was all stabbed in their sleep, the YNet website reported.

The military says it is sweeping the area in search of the perpetrator and has set up checkpoints throughout the West Bank. It has instructed all residents to stay in their homes during the extensive sweeps.

The military blocked the entrance to the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar, as soldiers poured inside and a pair of ambulances departed.

The overnight attack is the first attack against settlers in months and the first of its kind and scope in years. It marks a rare outburst of violence during a relatively calm period.

It also comes as Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts are at a standstill and seems likely to complicate efforts to restart them.

Itamar is home to some of the West Bank's most fervent settlers. The attack took place in the middle of the night against a religious community on the Jewish Sabbath.

The attack was reminiscent of a similar one against Itamar in June 2002, during the height of the violent Palestinian uprising, when a gunmen burst into the home of a family and opened fire.

The mother of the family and three of her children were murdered. Another two children were seriously injured and a local security official was shot to death as he tried to help.

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