Two persons were killed when shooters opened fire on a vehicle in the occupied West Bank after Israel launched air raids on Lebanon and bombarded the Gaza Strip on Friday, sparking fears of a broader conflict following days of violence over Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site.
A vehicle was attacked on Friday near the illegal Israeli settlement of Hamra in the northern West Bank governorate of Jericho.
"A vehicle was the target of a gunshot at the Hamra Junction. According to Israel's military, soldiers from the [Israeli army] are scouring the area.
According to the Magen David Adom ambulance service, two women in their twenties were slain, and a woman in her forties was severely injured.
The assault occurred hours after Israel launched missiles at Lebanon and Gaza in response to a vast rocket barrage launched from southern Lebanon.
The Israeli military reported that its warplanes targeted infrastructure belonging to Palestinian armed organizations, which it accused of launching the nearly thirty rockets that struck open areas and northern Israeli towns on Thursday.
Several residents of the southern Lebanese town of Qalili, including Syrian refugees, reported being mildly injured.
"I immediately gathered my wife and children and got them out of the house," said Bilal Suleiman, a Qalili resident awakened by the explosion.
President of the US/Middle East Initiative, Daniel Levy, told Al Jazeera that violence will likely escalate.
"Endless denial of freedoms and rights for the Palestinians under occupation – living under the repressive Israeli regime – will inevitably lead to people adopting various forms of resistance," said Levy.
After Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on consecutive days this week, firing stun grenades and attacking Palestinians congregated for Ramadan prayers, tensions escalated.
Analysts characterized the Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon as the most severe border violence since Israel's 2006 war with the Hezbollah group. They threatened to escalate the conflict into a dangerous new phase.
Dead Were Sisters
Resul Serdar of Al Jazeera reported from occupied East Jerusalem that a helicopter arrived to transport the injured to a hospital.
"One of the women was driving, and when the gunfire started, she lost control of the vehicle and struck a man." Therefore, according to Israeli sources cited by Serdar, there are two fatalities and two injuries, one of which is critical.
According to reports, there are two suspects, and a manhunt is underway to find them.
According to Israeli media, the victims were sisters from the illegal settlement of Efrat, south of Jerusalem, and the woman who was critically injured was their mother.
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai issued a statement urging Israelis with a permit to carry firearms to do so.
A gunshot has occurred after months of heightened violence in the occupied West Bank.
In recent months, there has been an unprecedented increase in attacks, with Palestinian health officials reporting that the beginning of 2023 has been the deadliest for Palestinians in at least 20 years.
Since the beginning of the year, nearly 90 Palestinians have been slain by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank. During this period, sixteen Israelis were killed by Palestinian attacks.