ISRAELI authorities are searching for an axe-wielding Palestinian who attacked two boys in a West Bank settlement, killing one.
Police said the attacker used an ax and a knife to kill a 13-year-old and seriously wound a seven-year-old Thursday at the Bat Ayin settlement southwest of Bethlehem.
A resident of the Jewish settlement confronted the attacker and wrestled the axe away from him, but the suspect managed to escape.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement calling the incident a “senseless act of brutality against innocents.” He urged security officials to make every effort to apprehend the attacker.
Israeli police officers and soldiers set up numerous roadblocks in the area as part of a massive manhunt.
A little-known Palestinian militant group, Imad Mughniyeh, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Bat Ayin is home to about 1,000 Jewish settlers.
The Thursday incident is the latest in a string of sporadic violence in the West Bank. Last month Palestinian attackers killed two Israeli police officers.
In 2002, three Bat Ayin residents were convicted of trying to set off a bomb at a Palestinian girls’ school in Arab East Jerusalem.
The attack was unsuccessful and the men were sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison.