The Israeli military said it would bolster troop presence in the West Bank and was expected to carry out overnight raids after a Palestinian assailant sneaked into a West Bank settlement and stabbed three people, killing one.
An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said late Thursday it was sending two more brigades to the West Bank following the deadly terrorist attack in Adam. The move comes as Israel has raised its military alert level in the Golan and along the Gaza border amid flareups there.
The army said troops would be operating in Palestinian villages, without offering details.
The announcement came as the military continued to pursue the possibility that an accomplice in the stabbing attack remained on the loose. Eyewitnesses in Adam reported seeing a suspicious vehicle leaving the settlement shortly after the attack.
The IDF was widely expected to enter the town of Kobar, where stabbing suspect Mohammad Tareq Yousef is from, during overnight raids.
According to Israeli authorities, Yousef climbed over Adam’s security fence sometime before 9 p.m. Thursday. He then walked deeper into the settlement, crossing a playground area, where he encountered a 31-year-old resident, and stabbed him repeatedly in the upper torso.
The victim died after being rushed to a Jerusalem hospital, and his name has not been released for publication.
A second resident, 58, was also stabbed after arriving on the scene. He was rushed to a hospital in serious condition but it was upgraded to moderate after doctors managed to stabilize him.
A third resident, 41, went outside to investigate the disturbance and, realizing that an attack was occurring, shot the Palestinian terrorist three times, killing him. He was stabbed and lightly injured during the incident.
The attack broke months of relative calm in the West Bank, which has seen only sporadic clashes between Palestinians and troops, and a marked decrease in terror attacks.
The last stabbing attack in a West Bank settlement was in April 2018, when a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli with a screwdriver near a gas station in an industrial area connected to the Maale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem.
Kobar, north of Ramallah and some 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Adam, was also home to Omar al-Abed, who carried out a similar attack in the settlement of Halamish in July 2017 in which three Israelis were killed.
The IDF said it was investigating a possible link between them, though the mayor of Kobar said he did not know of the two being connected.
Authorities are investigating reports that Yousef posted about his intentions on Facebook ahead of the attack, condemning Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank, and declaring that “the time has come for a great revolt.”
A Shin Bet investigation will likely focus on whether Yousef had any help in planning or carrying out the attack, and whether others knew about his plot.
The IDF often raids suspects homes following attacks and sometimes arrests relatives for questioning. It also begins the process of preparing the home for demolition, as part of a controversial measure meant to deter attacks.
There was no immediate comment from the IDF regarding overnight arrest raids in the West Bank.
Fierce clashes broke out in Kobar last year during arrest raids following the Halamish attack.