IDF arrests Palestinian who shot soldier near Hebron

Heavy army presence in city as troops block access routes, seek out assailants; soldier wounded in Friday attack remains in serious condition

Israeli soldiers search a Palestinian home in the West Bank town of Hebron, November 7, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)
Israeli soldiers search a Palestinian home in the West Bank town of Hebron, November 7, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)

Israeli security forces arrested Friday overnight a 16-year-old Palestinian from the Hebron area, who admitted to shooting and seriously wounding an IDF soldier earlier that day, officials said Saturday.

The teen, from the village of Bani Naim, also handed over the rifle he had used to security forces, according to a statement from the Shin Bet security service. Investigators were continuing to question him.

The soldier, who was shot at the Beit Anun junction north of Hebron on Friday evening, was still being treated in serious condition Saturday at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

He was the fourth person attacked by Palestinian assailants in the West Bank on Friday.

Earlier a shooting attack near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron wounded two Jewish youths, one of them seriously. The two teens, aged 16 and 18, were hospitalized in Jerusalem. The 16-year-old was seriously hurt when he was hit by gunfire in the upper body, while the 18-year-old sustained light injuries.

On Friday afternoon, a man in his 40s was seriously wounded when he was stabbed in a West Bank industrial park north of Jerusalem. The terrorist fled the scene; he later handed himself in to the Palestinian Authority.

Minutes earlier, a Palestinian woman in her 70s tried to drive her car into a group of IDF soldiers near Hebron, but was shot and killed by troops at the scene. None of the soldiers were injured in the attack.

In response to the attacks in the Hebron area, many troops moved into Hebron overnight Friday. Forces on Saturday blocked exits from the southern West Bank city as they launched a manhunt for assailants.

On Saturday, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP there was “ongoing activity to locate the perpetrators of yesterday’s attacks.”

Israeli forces were searching Palestinian homes in and around Hebron as well as setting up new checkpoints, an AFP reporter said. The army also blocked off the northern entrance of Hebron with mounds of dirt. The eastern entrance has been sealed off for days.

Clashes were reported between Palestinian protesters and security forces. Palestinian medics said two Palestinians were wounded by live fire.

The IDF released a video showing elite soldiers from the Duvdevan undercover unit pose as stone throwers near Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem on Friday, before cornering and arresting a protester.

Hebron has 200,000 Palestinian residents with approximately 500 Israeli settlers living in the center, protected by an army-patrolled buffer zone. The situation is a constant source of tension.

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