ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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IDF: Troops targeted in drive-by shooting in West Bank; 7 terror suspects detained

No soldiers hurt in attack near Shuweika; gunfire also heard by Israeli motorists near Beit Hagai

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

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early March 5, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early March 5, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli soldiers came under fire from Palestinian gunmen during overnight operations in the West Bank, the military said Sunday morning, adding that seven terror suspects were detained.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, troops conducting “proactive operational activity” near the village of Shuweika, close to the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, came under fire from a passing vehicle.

The soldiers returned fire at the car as it fled the scene, the IDF said. No troops were hurt.

Separately, the IDF said sounds of gunfire were reported by motorists on the Route 60 highway near the settlement of Beit Hagai. No injuries were caused, and troops found several shell casings in the area.

A night earlier, an Israeli man was lightly hurt after being shot by Palestinian gunmen in the same area.

During arrest raids late Saturday and predawn Sunday, the IDF said troops detained seven wanted Palestinians suspected of involvement in terror activities across the West Bank.

In the village of Yatma, troops seized an M16 assault rifle, the IDF added.

An M16 rifle seized by troops in the West Bank village of Yatma, March 5, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

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

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been high for the past year, with the IDF conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.

A string of Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent months have left 14 Israelis dead and several more seriously hurt.

At least 64 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.

There has also been a rise in settler violence toward Palestinians in recent months.

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