Palestinian allegedly kills Israeli settlement family in Itamar


Israeli soldiers block the road at the Hawara checkpoint south of the West Bank city of Nablus on March 12, 2011, after a Palestinian killed five Israelis in an overnight attack in the Jewish settlement of Itamar.


Menahem Kahana

A Palestinian allegedly entered the home of an Israeli family in a West Bank settlement and stabbed to death the couple and three children, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The attack reportedly occurred in Itamar settlement near Nablus on Friday night. About 100 families live in that area.

Two children escaped and survived the attack, according to Israel's Army Radio. The victims include a one-month baby and two children, 11 and 3.

The Israeli army is now searching the area as well as surrounding villages for the suspect.

The Itamar settlement was the scene of an attack in 2002 when a Palestinian gunmen killed five Israelis and injured several more, BBC reports.

Israel's settlements, which house more than half a million Jewish Israelis, have long been a source of conflict and tension between Israel and the Palestinians. Peace talks stalled last year when negotiations over settlement building broke down, and the Palestinians refuse direct contact with Israel until it halts construction in the settlements.

Read more from GlobalPost about Israel's settlements:

Opinion: Obama to blame for breakdown of Mideast talks?

Israeli settlements: frozen, but still cooking

-- Hanna Ingber Win