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Israeli forces nab Hamas member over northern West Bank shooting attack

Police, Shin Bet say Mujahid al-Talfiti involved in firing at Israeli motorist near Nablus on Friday; 10 detained in overnight raids

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

Samaria Regional Council chair Yossi Dagan inspects damage caused to an Israeli-owned car following a shooting attack near the Havat Gilad outpost in the northern West Bank, December 16, 2022. (Roi Hadi/Samaria Reigonal Council)
Samaria Regional Council chair Yossi Dagan inspects damage caused to an Israeli-owned car following a shooting attack near the Havat Gilad outpost in the northern West Bank, December 16, 2022. (Roi Hadi/Samaria Reigonal Council)

Israeli security forces on Wednesday afternoon arrested a member of the Hamas terror group suspected of being involved in a shooting attack in the northern West Bank over the weekend, police and the Shin Bet security agency said.

On Friday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an Israeli-owned car near the unauthorized outpost of Havat Gilad, south of the West Bank city of Nablus. The Israeli motorist was unharmed in the shooting, but the gunfire — at least four shots — shattered the car’s windows and struck the driver’s headrest.

Border Police troops on Wednesday entered Nablus to arrest Mujahid al-Talfiti, 25, over his alleged involvement in the attack. Two other suspects were arrested over the attack earlier this week.

Palestinian media reports said al-Talfiti was detained after Israeli forces surrounded a building he was in.

Al-Talfiti had been formerly jailed in Israel over various terror activities and his affiliation with the Hamas terror group, according to the Shin Bet.

There were no reports of any major clashes during the raid in Nablus.

The Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group claimed responsibility for the attack but did not provide any evidence.

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

Bullet holes are seen on the headrest of an Israeli car that came under a shooting attack near the Havat Gilad outpost in the northern West Bank, December 16, 2022. (Rescuers WIthout Borders)

The incidents have come amid an Israeli anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 31 people dead in Israel and the West Bank since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left 169 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

In separate arrest raids early Wednesday, troops detained 10 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank and seized two makeshift firearms, the military said.

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