Israeli security personnel and medical workers gather at the scene of a shooting attack at the Hamra junction in the Jordan Valley, on Friday. Photo by Alaa Badarneh/EPA-EFE
April 7 (UPI) -- The Israel Defense Forces are conducting a manhunt for those responsible for a West Bank shooting attack on a vehicle that killed two Israeli women while leaving their mother in critical condition on Friday.
The women, who have not been identified publicly, were on Route 57 Highway in the northern Jordan Valley near Hamra Junction when the attack happened. Both women killed are reported to be in their 20s.
"IDF soldiers are blocking routes adjacent to the scene of the shooting attack and are currently in pursuit of the terrorists," the Israel Defense Forces said in a Twitter post.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said its medics initially responded to a vehicle collision but found the car full of bullet holes with the two women inside when they arrived at the scene.
Efrat council leader Oded Revivi said the dead women were sisters who lived in Efrat. Their father, who was driving a second vehicle, arrived after rescue crews reached the vehicle with the women.
"This is a murderous attack that reminds us how relevant the threat of terrorism is in its various forms," Israeli Police Chief Kobi Shabtai said. "Therefore, alongside our operations and that of the security forces in all sectors, I call on every citizen who has a licensed firearm and is skilled in operating it legally -- to carry it these days."
The shooting marked another sign of ongoing violence in the country. Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza and Lebanon early Friday.
Rockets had been fired from Lebanon into Israel on Thursday, a day after Israeli police stormed the history Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem with worshippers inside on Wednesday.