Israeli guard lightly hurt in shooting at checkpoint near Jerusalem; attacker killed

Palestinian gunman shot after opening fire on Qalandiya checkpoint in West Bank; civil guard hit in shoulder by bullet ricochet, taken to hospital

Police at the scene of a shooting attack at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, early June 24, 2023. (Israel Police)
Police at the scene of a shooting attack at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, early June 24, 2023. (Israel Police)

A civilian security guard was lightly injured early Saturday morning after a Palestinian gunman opened fire at Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem. The attacker was killed, police and medics said.

In a statement, Israel Police said the gunman approached the checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah on foot at around 2:40 a.m., and opened fire.

Officers and civilian guards fired back, killing the shooter, police said.

Palestinian media identified the attacker as 18-year-old Ishak al-Ajlouni, from the nearby town of Kafr ‘Aqab.

Police said security forces also seized the assault rifle and several magazines from the gunman.

The injured guard, a 22-year-old, was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital for treatment after suffering a wound to his shoulder as a result of a bullet ricochet, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.

MDA added that it had also taken another civilian guard, a 24-year-old, to the hospital with mild blunt force trauma. The cause of his injury was not immediately clear.

An assault rifle used by a Palestinian gunman in an attack on the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, early June 24, 2023. (Israel Police)

Jerusalem district police chief Deputy Commissioner Doron Turgeman toured the scene after the attack and hailed the forces for their quick response.

“The identification of the terrorist who opened fire was immediate, and the force operating the crossing acted in a precise and professional manner until [they] neutralized the threat… ending the event exactly as is expected of them,” Turgeman said.

Earlier Friday, an Israeli woman who tried to stab soldiers was shot and wounded in the northern West Bank, in what was thought to be a potential attempt to die by suicide.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said the woman aged around 40 approached the soldiers near the Tapuah Junction and tried to stab them. “In response, the soldiers opened fire in her direction to remove the danger,” the military said.

The incidents come amid heightened tensions in the West Bank following a recent series of deadly Palestinian terror shootings, and reprisal attacks by Jewish settlers.

The Tapuah Junction has seen a number of terror attacks in recent years and is some 10 kilometers (six miles) from Eli, where four Israelis were killed in a shooting on Tuesday.

Since then, hundreds of right-wing extremists have rampaged through Palestinian towns and fields, setting homes and cars on fire, and terrorizing residents. One Palestinian man was killed in unclear circumstances during a settler riot in Turmus Ayya.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Palestinian health officials said a man wounded during clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday morning had died of his wounds. The Palestinian Authority health ministry said 39-year-old Tareq Mousa Idris was shot in the abdomen during the clashes.

The IDF had said Friday that troops exchanged gunfire with Palestinians during the raid in Nablus. Three suspects were detained in the city, and no soldiers were hurt, the IDF added.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have also been elevated for the past year and a half, with the military carrying out 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 24 people, including Tuesday’s shooting near Eli.

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 134 West Bank Palestinians have been killed during that span, most of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances.

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