Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty Images

Israeli couple shot dead in car near West Bank settlement

Four children in car were unharmed; military searching for attacker believed to be a Palestinian

An Israeli couple was shot dead while driving through the occupied West Bank late on Thursday, the Israeli military said.

Israeli forces were searching the nearby Palestinian village of Beit Furik for the attacker, who the military believes is Palestinian.

The two Israelis were killed near the Jewish settlement of Itamar when their car came under fire, the military said. The rescue service ZAKA said four of the couple's children were in the car but were unharmed.

Israeli Channel 10 TV news reported that the fire came from a passing car.

A paramedic who arrive on the scene, Boaz Malka, said, "we saw a car in the middle of the road, and next to it, a man in his 30s lay on the ground with torso gunshot wounds," The Jerusalem Post reported. "Inside the car a woman sat, with severe tosro wounds. They had no vital signs and to our sorrow we had to declare them dead on the scene."

Tensions have flared in recent weeks surrounding a Jerusalem holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Israeli police and Palestinian protesters have clashed at the holy site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Seven Palestinians were arrested on Monday after a riot broke out between Muslim worshippers and Israeli police at the holy site. 

Al Jazeera and wire services

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