An IDF soldier was lightly injured early Wednesday morning during an operation near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, the army said.
He was part of a group of soldiers that came under fire near the neighborhood of Danaba, east of the Palestinian city. The troops returned fire and were searching the area for suspects.
The soldier was evacuated to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Following the shooting, the IDF declared Danaba a closed military zone, announcing over loudspeakers that residents should remain indoors, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
Soldiers also continued to search homes, questioning locals about a December shooting near the West Bank settlement of Avnei Hefetz, Ma’an reported.
Shaul and Rachel Nir were shot in their car from another vehicle as they left the settlement. Their car was hit by over 20 bullets, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash. Shaul Nir was seriously injuried when one of the bullets pieced his skull.
Immediately after the shooting the IDF placed a complete lockdown on the Nur a-Shams refugee camp where the suspects were initially thought to have been hiding.
The army has stepped up its routine nightly raids in West Bank towns and villages as a wave of stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks continues throughout the country and over the Green Line. Over 25 Israelis have been killed in such attacks since October. Over 100 Palestinians have been killed, many of them while attacking Israelis.
The IDF said nine Palestinian suspects including three Hamas members were arrested overnight. Five of the detainees are suspected of direct involvement in recent attacks on civilians and security forces, the army said. The suspects were transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.
In a separate operation, combat engineers entered the West Bank town of Bethlehem and the village of Beit Amra to map out the homes of the suspected perpetrators of two stabbings that took place this week. The mapping procedure is conducted ahead of home demolitions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday that Israel would demolish the home of 16-year-old Morad Bader Abdullah Adais from Beit Amra, who allegedly stabbed to death an Israeli mother-of-six in the West Bank settlement of Otniel on Sunday.
Adais is suspected of entering the home of Dafna Meir and killing her before fleeing on foot. Three of Meir’s six children were home when she was killed.
Fifteen-year-old Othman Muhammad Sha’alan from Bethlehem is suspected of stabbing a pregnant Israeli woman in the West Bank settlement of Tekoa Tuesday.
Sha’alan entered the settlement through a hole in its perimeter fence and stabbed Michal Froman, 30. She later said he had drawn a knife and seemed distressed and that she approached him because she wanted to help him.
Froman, who is approximately five months pregnant, was moderately injured. As passers-by rushed to assist her, Sha’alan fled for the hole in the fence from which he had entered, but was apprehended by two armed civilians. One of them shot Sha’alan in the leg when he lunged at him, witnesses said, and he was evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.
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