JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian attacker posing as a hitchhiker threw acid at an Israeli family in the West Bank on Friday before he was shot by a passer-by and arrested, the Israeli military said.
The Israeli family — a Jewish man, his wife and four young girls — were sitting inside a car when the Palestinian man hurled acid at the woman and the girls in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem, the military said.
The army said the Palestinian also tried to attack the father of the family with a screwdriver and then started to run away, but a civilian passer-by shot him in the leg. Israeli police arrested the man and evacuated him to hospital for treatment.
The Israeli family members sustained light injuries, the police said.
Acid attacks are rare in Israel and the Palestinian territories. In 2001, a Palestinian girl seriously injured a young Israeli woman when she entered a Jerusalem shoe shop and threw acid at a saleswoman.
Friday's attack came as Israel is seeing its worst bout of Palestinian violence in nearly a decade. Over the past month, 11 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly in Jerusalem, though there have been other attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank.
Earlier Friday, a Palestinian rammed his car into a bus stop where Israeli soldiers were waiting in the West Bank. The troops were not hurt, the military said. The driver was lightly hurt and taken in for questioning to determine whether it was an accident or an intentional assault. Several hours later the military issued a statement saying they concluded the incident was an accident.
Palestinians have used vehicles as weapons to carry out attacks in several instances in recent months, resulting in deaths and injuries.
Israeli officials say the attacks stem from incitement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.
Also Friday, there were scattered, small clashes between Palestinian demonstrators — some supporting the Islamic militant Hamas group, others rallying against Jewish settlements — and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.