"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently condemns the murder of an
innocent family while it slept," a statement by the prime minister's office
said. "The prime minister is demanding of the Palestinian Authority that it
halt the incitement in the mosques and via the PA-controlled media."
Officials said one or several Palestinian attackers infiltrated the
Jewish community of Itamar near Nablus before dawn, Middle East Newsline reported. The attacker broke into
a home and knifed to death both parents as well as three children, including
a three-month-old girl.
Over the last day, senior officials from the Defense Ministry and the
intelligence community convened to discuss the Palestinian attack, which
sparked Jewish retaliation in nearby Palestinian villages. Officials said
the Israel Security Agency, responsible for domestic intelligence, was
assigned to capture the killers as well as consult with the PA regarding
intelligence and other cooperation.
Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, believed aligned with PA security
officers, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials said the
killings followed a series of confrontations between Israel's military and
PA security forces in the northern West Bank.
Hamas was also believed to be a key player in the Palestinian campaign
against Jewish communities in the West Bank. Officials said Hamas has
established at least five cells equipped and trained to attack Israeli
soldiers and civilians.