Middle East

Israel hunts West Bank for couple's killers

Israeli soldiers search a car near Nablus (02/10/15) Image copyright EPA
Image caption Israel has ordered more troops into the West Bank to help with the search

Hundreds of troops are searching for Palestinians who shot dead an Israeli couple as they drove in the West Bank with their four children, Israel says.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed "to capture the murderers" who killed Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin on Thursday night.

The killings were praised by the Palestinian Hamas movement in Gaza.

It comes amid a period of tension between Israel and the Palestinians, which has seen clashes in Jerusalem.

Mr Netanyahu blamed the killings on what he called "savage Palestinian incitement".

The Henkins, who were in their 30s, were buried in Jerusalem on Friday.

Thousands of mourners, including the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, attended the funeral.

The couple, who came from the Jewish settlement of Neria, were shot dead as they drove between the settlements of Itamar and Elon in the north of the occupied territory.

Their four children, aged between four months and nine years, witnessed the killings and were treated for shock.

Image copyright Israeli foreign ministry
Image caption The couple were killed in front of their four young children

Israel deployed four additional battalions to the West Bank in the wake of the killings to beef up security forces there and help search for the attackers.

There has been a recent flare-up in tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, with violent confrontations between security forces and Palestinian youths in a compound holy to both Jews and Muslims in East Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly that Israel risked creating "an explosive situation" in Jerusalem and the West Bank with its use of "brutal force".

In his address to the UN chamber on Thursday, Mr Netanyahu called on Mr Abbas to "stop spreading lies" about Israel and return to peace talks.