3 Palestinian terrorists try to infiltrate settlement, killed by troops; 1 soldier hurt

Cell opens fire at reservist responding to attack in Adora; M16, knives, firebombs found on teen attackers’ bodies; footage shows them crawling under settlement’s fence

Palestinian terrorists breach a fence at the West Bank settlement Adora, January 12, 2024. (Screen grab via Kan used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Palestinian terrorists breach a fence at the West Bank settlement Adora, January 12, 2024. (Screen grab via Kan used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

An Israeli soldier was moderately wounded in a shooting attack on Friday evening as three terrorists tried to infiltrate into the southern West Bank settlement of Adora, the Israel Defense Forces said.

After a brief manhunt, the three Palestinians who carried out the attack were killed by security forces, the military said, later adding that they were teenagers with no prior security offenses.

According to the IDF, a reservist tasked with guarding Adora received an alert of an infiltration into the settlement’s industrial zone, and quickly reached the scene.

“When the soldier arrived to check the alert, he was hit by the terrorists’s gunfire,” the IDF said, adding that he dispatched additional forces to search for the terrorists.

The IDF said reservists guarding the settlement and additional troops searched for the assailants, eventually killing all three in the Adora industrial zone.

The soldier, aged 34, was moderately hurt after being shot in the leg. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said he was in good-to-moderate condition and conscious when taken to hospital.

Surveillance footage showed the terrorists breaching the outer perimeter of the industrial area, crawling through a hole in the fence or underneath it.

An M16, a number of knives, a pickaxe and Molotov cocktails were found on the bodies of the terrorists.

The IDF Home Front Command ordered residents of Adora to remain in their homes and lock their doors and windows until further notice, amid fears of further terrorists in the settlement. After some 12 hours, the order was lifted.

The commander of the Judea Regional Brigade said on Saturday morning that the troops foiled a “significant attack,” while hailing the quick action of the settlement’s security team that alerted of the incident and the reservists who reached the scene and killed the attackers.

“Recently, we have trained our forces and systems a lot for this moment, and in the moment of truth, the terrorists met a powerful, complete, and sharp edge, and this is what will do to anyone who wants to harm us,” said Col. Yishai Rosilio.

Weapons said to have been found on the bodies of three gunmen killed after they attacked troops patrolling in the West Bank settlement Adora, January 12, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The three Palestinian terrorists were later identified as teenagers with no prior security offenses.

The Shin Bet security agency named the trio, from the nearby town of Idna, as family members Udai Abu Jahisha, 16, Muhammad Arafat Abu Jahisha, 16, and Ismail Abu Jahisha, 19.

“The three have no previous arrests or security background,” the Shin Bet said.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said it was notified of their deaths, indicating the bodies were being held by Israeli authorities.

Security chiefs have reportedly warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several times this month that the West Bank is on the brink of a major eruption in violence.

According to a Channel 12 news report on Monday, the warnings were relayed by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and other senior military commanders, who said Israel risked a new front in the West Bank amid the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and ongoing clashes on the northern border with the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Besides Netanyahu, the report said the other members of the war cabinet were also warned of the prospect of major unrest in the West Bank.

The heightened concern comes on the heels of Israel’s withholding of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority, in addition to refusing to allow some 150,000 Palestinian workers to return to their jobs in Israel and the settlements, the report said, noting Netanyahu’s refusal to hold security cabinet votes to reverse both decisions amid pressure from his far-right coalition partners.

“We may end up with a third Intifada [in the West Bank] because of the discontent resulting from the economic difficulty and lack of entry of workers to Israel,” the IDF commanders were quoted as saying.

The network added that the military’s assessment was shared by the Shin Bet security service.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi at a security assessment at the military’s Northern Command, December 7, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

The reports came a day after an East Jerusalem Palestinian man was killed and a woman seriously wounded in a shooting near Ramallah, in what appeared to be the first deadly terror attack in the West Bank since November, though there have been several attempted attacks in that period. On December 31, two guards were injured in a stabbing at the entrance to the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, during which the assailant managed to grab a semi-automatic rifle.

Tensions in Israel and the West Bank have been high since October 7, when some 3,000 terrorists burst through the Gaza border into Israel in a Hamas-led attack, killing at least 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and seizing some 240 hostages. Israel responded with an aerial campaign and subsequent ground operation with the goal of destroying Hamas and freeing the hostages.

The Israel Defense Forces has continued to operate throughout the West Bank and police have been on high alert in Israel, in light of concerns about a possible escalation of violence.

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