JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A baby who was delivered prematurely to an Israeli woman wounded in a Palestinian drive-by shooting in the occupied West Bank died in hospital on Wednesday, officials said, hours before the gunman was killed by pursuing Israeli forces.
Shira Ish-Ran, seven months pregnant, her husband and five others were injured in Sunday’s attack at a bus stop outside the Jewish settlement of Ofra in the occupied West Bank. The gunman fled the scene in a car.
Doctors said Ish-Ran was shot in the abdomen and that her son was born by Caesarean section in critical condition but never recovered.
“My heart, our hearts, are with Shira and Avihai at the death of a four-day-old baby who does not even have a name,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told foreign media and diplomats in a speech. “The security forces are in pursuit of the murderer.”
After he spoke, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said troops operating near the West Bank city of Ramallah tried to arrest Omar al-Barghouthi, a Palestinian who was among suspects in the Ofra attack, but shot him dead when he tried to escape.
The Islamist group Hamas issued a statement claiming Barghouthi as a member and confirming that he carried out “the heroic operation in Ofra”.
The West Bank, where Hamas’s secular rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas exercises a measure of self-rule, has seen simmering violence over long-stalled statehood talks with Israel. Hamas, which opposes long-term coexistence with Israel, runs Gaza, another Palestinian territory.
(Writing by Dan Williams, Nidal al-Mugrhabi and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Mark Heinrich, John Stonestreet & Simon Cameron-Moore)