Israeli hikers come under fire in West Bank; soldiers shoot suspected gunman
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After manhunt, second suspect turns himself in

Israeli hikers come under fire in West Bank; soldiers shoot suspected gunman

IDF says soldiers heard gunshots while guarding tour bus near Mevo Dotan settlement, open fire at two suspects, injuring one

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative. IDF soldiers near the scene of a shooting attack near the northern West Bank Ariel Junction on March 17, 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative. IDF soldiers near the scene of a shooting attack near the northern West Bank Ariel Junction on March 17, 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops opened fire at a pair of Palestinian men suspected of shooting at a group of hikers in the northern West Bank on Monday, the military said.

One of the suspects was wounded. No Israelis were injured in the exchange.

The second suspect fled the scene, and Israeli troops launched a manhunt to find him, according to a statement sent to residents of a nearby settlement.

The man later turned himself, the army said.

According to the message sent to residents of the Mevo Dotan settlement, the shots were fired at a group of hikers near the Tel Dotan archaeological site, west of the Palestinian village of Qabatiya.

The Israel Defense Forces said the troops, who were guarding the tour group, “saw two suspects shoot at them. They returned fire at the suspects. One of them was injured and taken to the hospital for medial treatment.”

The extent of the Palestinian’s injuries was not immediately known.

The second suspect fled the scene. Palestinian media reported that Israeli security forces established checkpoints and increased patrols throughout the northern West Bank following the exchange.

Several hours later, the man surrendered himself for arrest.

“Following searches by IDF troops in the region, the suspect turned himself in to security forces. He is now being handed over [to the Shin Bet security service] for interrogation,” the army said in a statement.

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