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Gunmen fire at Israeli car, troops in West Bank; cars burned in Palestinian village

No reports of injuries in any of the incidents in the Nablus area overnight; police launch investigation into suspected hate crime

IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank, August 23, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank, August 23, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an Israeli car and at military forces in two separate incidents in the northern West Bank Sunday night, the army and Palestinians said.

There were no casualties in either shooting.

In one case, the military said gunmen opened fire at an Israeli vehicle near the Havat Gilad outpost.

The car was not damaged and the driver was unharmed in the attack. Troops searched the area and found several shell casings, the military said.

The Nablus-based, loosely organized terror group known as Lion’s Den claimed responsibility for the shooting in a statement.

In the second, a local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group (PIJ) claimed to have fired at a military checkpoint near the West Bank town of Dayr Sharaf, west of Nablus.

Troops in the area reported hearing shooting, but the shots did not appear to have actually targeted forces.

Palestinian media outlets reported that later in the night, vehicles were set alight in the Palestinian village of Urif, near Nablus and the settlement of Yitzhar, possibly by extremist settlers.

Police on Monday afternoon said officers entered the village to collect evidence amid an investigation.

Anti-Palestinian vandalism by Jewish extremists is a common occurrence in the West Bank.

Incidents of vandalism against Palestinians and Israeli security forces are commonly referred to as “price tag” attacks, with perpetrators calling them retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies seen as hostile to the settler movement.

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.

The attacks have come amid an Israeli anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 31 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left 170 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

In arrest raids across the West Bank early Monday, troops arrested five wanted Palestinians, including one in Nablus, the IDF said.

In the Jalzaone refugee camp near Ramallah, troops opened fire and used riot dispersal means after Palestinians hurled cinderblocks at forces, the military added.

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