RAMALLAH: Eight Palestinians died on Thursday when the van they rode in collided with a cement truck in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian official media said.
The two vehicles slammed into each other at a junction on Route 90, which runs up the Jordan Valley and is under Israeli security control near the northern West Bank village of Fasayil, according to the Wafa news agency.
A medic with the Magen David Adom Israeli rescue services said in a statement that the scene at the crash site was “shocking.” “We saw a truck and a private vehicle crushed on the side of the road,” he said.
The victims were not officially identified but local news outlets reported they were teenagers between 14 and 17 years old.
Wafa said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared a day of mourning to be observed on Friday across the Palestinian territories in honor of the victims.
Medics declared seven people dead at the scene, and Wafa later reported an additional victim. Three injured people were evacuated to Israeli hospitals via helicopter.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a note of sympathy published in Arabic and Hebrew.
“I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Palestinian families who lost eight of their loved ones today” in the crash, he said.
Neighboring Jordan also expressed condolences.
Palestinian police said that the victims were workers from the town of Aqraba, near Nablus.