Israeli forces detain Palestinian gunmen accused of March attack on troops in Huwara

Yamam officers break into apartment in West Bank’s Nablus, arrest suspects without any resistance; two soldiers had been injured in the drive-by shooting

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

Israeli soldiers are deployed at the scene where a Palestinian gunman opened fire at soldiers in the West Bank town of Huwara, March 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Israeli soldiers are deployed at the scene where a Palestinian gunman opened fire at soldiers in the West Bank town of Huwara, March 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Two Palestinian gunmen accused of shooting and wounding Israeli soldiers in the West Bank town of Huwara in March were detained by the military on Sunday morning.

In a joint statement, police and the Israel Defense Forces said forces detained Iyad al-Takrouri, 24, and Musab Mazhar, 21, during a raid in the Nablus Old City.

Officers of the police’s elite Yamam unit broke into the wanted men’s apartment and called on them to come out, and they did so without any resistance, the statement said.

Forces seized an assault rifle and ammunition at the scene.

The pair were handed over to the Shin Bet security agency for further questioning.

In the attack on March 25, al-Takrouri and Mazhar allegedly opened fire from a passing vehicle at IDF soldiers stationed in Huwara, just south of Nablus.

One of the soldiers was listed in serious condition, while the other suffered moderate injuries. Their conditions have since improved.

It was the third shooting attack to occur in Huwara within weeks.

An assault rifle seized by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus on May 14, 2023. (Israel Police)

Huwara has long been a flashpoint in the West Bank as it is just about the only Palestinian town that Israelis regularly travel through in order to reach settlements.

There are plans to build a bypass road for settlers to avoid having to travel through Huwara, but the construction work has been stalled.

In February, a Hamas terrorist shot and killed brothers Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, as they drove through Huwara.

Following the pair’s death, a group of radical settlers rampaged through Huwara, burning homes and vehicles. A Palestinian man was killed in unclear circumstances and multiple people were injured in violence that shocked many in Israel and abroad, with some terming the incident a “pogrom.”

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

Since the beginning of the year, Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank have killed 19 people and left several more seriously hurt. At least 107 West Bank Palestinians have been killed during that span, 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.

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