Ibrahim Wadi, 62, and his son Ahmad, 24, were on their way to a funeral for four Palestinians shot dead by Israeli settlers in their occupied West Bank community when their car came under attack.
The father and son were driving through the small village of Qusra, just south of Nablus, which has become a focal point of violence over recent days, when they themselves were fired upon by armed settlers Thursday. Family members told CNN that the men were transferred to a nearby hospital and died of their wounds soon after.
They are among at least 61 people, including children, to be killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, when Hamas launched its unprecedented, surprise assault on Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health there. More than 1,250 have been injured.
Hamas’ attack has left more than 1,400 people dead in Israel, mostly civilians, with at least 199 believed to be held hostage inside Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.
Israel announced a “complete siege” of the enclave in response, carrying out widespread airstrikes across the Gaza Strip that left at least 3,478 people dead and threatening a ground invasion, according to the health ministry in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas. Meanwhile, tensions are mounting in the West Bank, where Palestinians have been killed in confrontations with both Israeli forces and settlers.
Hani Odeh, Qusra’s mayor, told CNN that settlers roam freely in the village under the protection of Israeli police. He said he had informed a member of COGAT, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, that he was going to attend the funeral, along with Ahmad and Ibrahim.
A few hours beforehand, the Israeli official told him to take a different route than the one they would usually take, to avoid settlers in the area. But to Odeh’s surprise, the road to which they were diverted was filled with settlers, who eventually shot and killed Ahmad and Ibrahim in their car.
Odeh told CNN he watched the attack happen from his own vehicle while Israeli soldiers patrolled the street. He went up to one officer, urging him to disperse the settlers, but no one did anything. He said it felt like a trap.
CNN reached out to COGAT and the IDF for comment on Odeh’s claims but has yet to receive a response.
Read more about the tense situation in the West Bank