A group of Israeli residents of Kibbutz Meirav in the north crossed into the West Bank and entered the nearby Palestinian village of Jalbun Sunday in response to shots fired at the kibbutz at the end of last week.
The residents who participated in the raid said in a statement that they will not permit continued shootings at their homes, after several such incidents in recent months.
The military said it spotted the Israelis crossing the security fence separating Israel and the West Bank, and returned them to the Israeli side.
There were no reports of injuries or damage inside the village during the incident.
In a video clip shared on social media, at least 15 people could be seen making their way out of the village.
Residents of the kibbutz who entered the village noted in their statement that it was the second recent shooting incident and that “we have no intention of continuing to sit idly by and wait for a real disaster.”
“The writing and the bullets are on the wall,” they said. “With full confidence in the IDF and its capabilities, we demand an immediate change in the security situation.”
On Friday night, at the opening of the Sukkot holiday, gunmen fired a volley of shots at the kibbutz, with one resident saying he had to dive for cover to avoid being hit.
The IDF later found several bullet casings in the area of Jalbun.
Zvi Redler, who said his home was hit, told the Ynet outlet Sunday that the rounds were fired just as he was leaving his home.
“They fired a crazy amount from two guns,” he said. “They simply emptied the magazines on me.”
Redler said he threw himself to the ground, then dashed back inside. He said one bullet missed him by centimeters and hit close to his children’s bedroom.
“It’s a miracle I’m alive,” he said.
Redler was confident there were two gunmen, and that one at least had an automatic weapon.
דיווחים פלסטיניים: בפעם השנייה תוך שבועיים – קבוצת ישראלים, ככל הנראה מקיבוץ מירב בגלבוע, נכנסה לאדמות הכפר הפלסטיני ג'ילבון בצפון השומרון – לאחר שבערב שבת בוצע פיגוע ירי לעבר בתי הקיבוץ@Doron_Kadosh pic.twitter.com/lUl9Gb8D6z
— גלצ (@GLZRadio) October 1, 2023
Two weeks ago, eight Meirav residents entered Jalbun in protest over shots that were fired from the direction of the village at a military vehicle patrolling along the seam line.
They were returned to Israel and questioned by police who arrived at the scene.
Responding to the recent shooting incidents, kibbutz residents in June wrote a letter in Arabic to residents of the village demanding that the April shooting not happen again.
Last month, the Shin Bet security agency announced that Israeli forces had arrested a Palestinian gunman suspected of carrying out a shooting attack targeting the kibbutz in April.
Yousef Abu al-Roub, 32, from Jalbun, near Jenin in the northern West Bank, allegedly opened fire at the town on April 18, damaging a home.
שמונה תושבי קיבוץ מירב נכנסו לכפר הפלסטיני ג'ילבון דרך קו התפר, במחאה על פיגוע הירי שבוצע מהמקום מוקדם יותר, שבו נפגע רכב סיור צבאי. כוחות צה"ל הוציאו את התושבים מהמקום@ItayBlumental @carmeldangor pic.twitter.com/3Fb2WXeDzw
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) September 18, 2023
The Shin Bet said a second suspect, Mohammed al-Roub, 35, affiliated with the Islamic State terror group, was arrested for allegedly supplying the gun to al-Roub. Mohammed had been previously detained by Israel for various terror offenses, the agency said.
Earlier in April, several homes in nearby Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa were damaged by bullets. An offshoot of Islamic Jihad, which took responsibility for the attack, claimed at the time that the targeted homes were in Meirav.
While shooting attacks targeting Israelis take place periodically, they more frequently take place inside the Green Line, and the targeting of Israeli civilians inside Israel proper is less common.
Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.
Earlier this year, armed Israeli settlers rampaged through the West Bank town of Huwara in revenge for deadly terror shootings, destroying property. The incidents were widely condemned by Israeli officials and in the international community.