JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four Jewish Israelis were killed when gunmen opened fire on the car they were riding in at the entrance to Kiryat Arba, near Hebron.
Tuesday night’s attack in the West Bank comes on the eve of the opening of peace talks in Washington between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The military wing of Hamas reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
More than one gunman approached the car and shot the victims — two men ages 25 and 40, and two women of about the same ages — at point blank range, according to preliminary reports, Haaretz reported. One of the women was pregnant. The car was sprayed with dozens of bullets, according to reports.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was briefing reporters on the upcoming peace talks when news of the attack came in.
"We are cognizant that there could be external events that can have an impact on the environment" at the peace talks, he said. "There may well be actors in the region who are deliberately making these kind of attacks to sabotage the process."