Armed Palestinian shot dead by guard near West Bank settlement, IDF says
Local officials say suspect with handgun attempted to infiltrate Kedumim, near Nablus; no other injuries reported
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
A Palestinian man armed with a handgun was shot dead by a security guard near the northern West Bank settlement of Kedumim, the military, medics, and local officials said shortly before midnight on Saturday.
According to local security officials, a suspect was spotted on the settlement’s surveillance cameras approaching Kedumim’s northern neighborhood at around 11:50 p.m.
The security coordinator for the settlement and another guard reached the scene and spotted the suspect who at that point had pulled out a handgun.
“The guard spotted a terrorist armed with a handgun trying to infiltrate the settlement, engaged him and shot at him, and killed him,” the settlement said in a statement to residents.
“The terrorist was not able to infiltrate into Kedumim and thank God there were no casualties,” the statement added.
The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service said the suspect was killed at the scene and there were no other injuries.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the local officials’ account and said troops were scanning the area for additional possible suspects. Sirens sounded in the settlement as residents were ordered to remain indoors until further notice while the army searched the area.
Several hours later, the military said there were no extant threats and residents could leave their homes and return to routine.
The IDF also released an image of the suspect’s gun.
Kedumim is located near the Palestinian city of Nablus.
Earlier on Saturday, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at a restaurant near the Almog Junction close to Jericho in the West Bank, then fled after his gun apparently jammed.
In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.
Saturday’s shooting and suspected attempted attack followed a pair of terror attacks in Jerusalem over the past day. On Friday night, a Palestinian gunman from East Jerusalem killed seven and injured three in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood, and the next morning, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two Israeli men near the Old City.
The attacks followed days of violence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Tensions have increased dramatically since Thursday morning, when an IDF raid in the West Bank against a terrorist cell left nine Palestinians dead — most of them gunmen and members of the cell, though at least one civilian was also killed.
The IDF said Thursday’s operation in the Jenin refugee camp was necessary to foil imminent attack plans by a local Islamic Jihad terror cell. The group had primed explosives and firearms, according to the IDF.
Thursday overnight saw rocket fire from Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and Israeli retaliatory air strikes, although both sides appeared intent on avoiding an escalation into a full-scale war.