IDF investigating suspected botched car bombing near West Bank military post

Palestinian vehicle bursts into flames several hundred meters from watchtower near settlement of Mevo Dotan; gas cylinders found in charred vehicle

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

A Palestinian car explodes near an army post near the settlement of Mevo Dotan in the northern West Bank, November 20, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)
A Palestinian car explodes near an army post near the settlement of Mevo Dotan in the northern West Bank, November 20, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

A Palestinian car exploded near a military post in the northern West Bank on Sunday night in what security forces are investigating as a suspected bombing attempt.

Palestinian media reported late Sunday that a car exploded at Kufeirat junction, several hundred meters from an Israel Defense Forces pillbox-style watchtower near the settlement of Mevo Dotan.

Videos from the scene showed the burning car exploding. The blaze was extinguished by Palestinians.

Later, troops found three gas cylinders in and next to the vehicle, as well as wires possibly intended to have been used to remotely set off the explosion, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

A flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group was also found in the area, according to the IDF’s initial probe of the incident, cited by Kan.

Last December, a Palestinian driver rammed his car into an army jeep and a military post near Mevo Dotan, before it burst into flames.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted troops operating in the West Bank, as well as military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements, and civilians on the roads.

The incident came as the military pressed on with a major anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 29 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — though not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

In arrests raids early Monday, troops arrested nine wanted Palestinians and killed a suspected gunman during a clash near Jenin.

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