Four troops hurt as Palestinians open fire at West Bank military post

Army launches manhunt, closes off entrance to nearby Palestinian village after attack on soldiers near settlement of Halamish, northwest of Ramallah, amid uptick in violence

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

File: Israeli soldiers operate in the West Bank, September 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
File: Israeli soldiers operate in the West Bank, September 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Four Israeli soldiers were injured after Palestinians opened fire at a military post in the central West Bank on Sunday night, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces initially said an improvised explosive device was hurled at a military post near the West Bank settlement of Halamish and the adjacent Palestinian town of Nabi Saleh.

On Monday morning, the IDF’s initial probe found that the soldiers were hurt by shots from a hunting rifle, not an IED.

The incident came amid rising violence in the West Bank, and hours after three Palestinians opened fire at a bus carrying soldiers, wounding seven people.

The four soldiers were listed in good condition and treated at the scene, the IDF said. The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service said one was taken for further medical treatment at Tel Hashomer hospital in Ramat Gan after sustaining injuries from shrapnel.

The military launched a manhunt for the suspects, who fled the scene. According to Palestinian media reports, the army closed the main entrance to Nabi Saleh, a frequent flashpoint between soldiers and Palestinians.

Tensions have escalated in the West Bank in recent days. Israeli security forces have stepped up arrest raids and operations and there have been several attacks by Palestinian gunmen on military posts across the West Bank.

Earlier on Sunday, three attackers opened fire on a bus carrying soldiers, seriously wounding the driver and leaving six troops with non-life-threatening injuries. One of the gunmen, who holds Israeli citizenship, was still on the loose as of Sunday night, according to Israeli authorities.

On Friday, a soldier was stabbed in Hebron, and there have also been numerous stone-throwing attacks on Israeli civilians driving in the West Bank in recent days.

Shortly before midnight Sunday, a 39-year-old man was brought to a Jerusalem hospital with light injuries to his upper body after being stoned while driving on Route 60 in the West Bank north of Jerusalem, a spokesperson for the Magen David Adom rescue service said.

“We are in a very complex period here which is not over yet,” a senior IDF officer told reporters Sunday.

A deadly wave of terror attacks earlier this year left 19 people dead, though tensions had appeared to calm before the latest flareup.

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