- By Ben Morris & Lucy Williamson
- BBC News
Two British-Israeli sisters killed by gunfire in the occupied West Bank have been named as Mia and Rina Dee.
The sisters were killed on Friday afternoon near the Hamra Junction, north of the Jordan Valley, on their way to Tiberias.
They were the children of London-based Rabbi Leo Dee, who described the deaths as a “nightmare”.
Their mother Leah is in critical condition in hospital.
Maia is 20 and volunteered for national service in high school, while younger sister Reena is 15.
Their father was driving ahead in a separate vehicle when their car was driven off the road after being fired upon by gunmen. Rabbi Dee heard news of the attack before realizing his own family was involved.
Speaking to the BBC, she described her daughters as “beautiful and amazing” and said she had not been able to sleep since their deaths.
“Each time, I had dreams and woke up,” he said, “but the reality was worse than the dream, so I went back to sleep and it went on like that.”
The family lives in the West Bank settlement of Efrat, its mayor said. The sisters’ funeral will be held on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the incident as a terrorist attack and tweeted the names of the sisters and expressed his condolences to the family.
England’s chief rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, said: “No words can describe the depth of our shock and sadness at the heartbreaking news.”
Writing on Twitter, he said the two sisters were the children of British rabbi Dee and his wife Lucy, which is understood to be their mother Leah’s English name.
“They were much loved in the Hendon and Ratlet communities in England and Israel, and beyond,” he added.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “deeply shocked and saddened” by their deaths, adding that their father was a rabbi at Ratlet United Synagogue in Hertfordshire.
Foreign Secretary James Wise said on Friday that he had spoken with his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, following the attacks, and that anyone concerned about friends or relatives in Israel should contact the Foreign Office.
On Friday, an Italian tourist was killed and seven others, including three Britons, were injured in a suspected car-ramming attack in Tel Aviv.
The military said the strikes were in response to a barrage of 34 rockets fired from Lebanon into northern Israel on Thursday, which it blamed on the group.
The rocket barrage from Lebanon followed two nights of Israeli police raids on the al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, sparking anger across the region.
Hamas did not claim responsibility for the shooting of the British-Israeli women, but hailed it as a “natural response”. [Israel’s] The ongoing crimes against Al-Aqsa Mosque and its barbaric aggression against Lebanon and the steadfast Gaza”.
After the two sisters were shot, Israel Police Commissioner Gobi Shabtai began requiring all Israelis with gun licenses to carry their weapons.
Responding to news of the sisters’ deaths on Friday, the UK Foreign Office said: “We are saddened to hear of the deaths of two British-Israeli citizens and the serious injuries of a third.”