ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 138

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Israeli lightly hurt in his sukkah in W. Bank shooting; IDF kills Palestinian gunman

Military and Shin Bet say 2nd suspect captured following hourslong manhunt after he fled scene at settlement of Beit El

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

Illustrative: Israeli troops conduct searches in the West Bank, October 12, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Israeli troops conduct searches in the West Bank, October 12, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the West Bank settlement of Beit El on Friday night, lightly wounding an Israeli man who was sitting in a sukkah in his yard, celebrating the festival of Sukkot, the military and medics said.

The Israel Defense Forces said a Palestinian gunman was shot dead by Israeli troops who were operating in the area as he attempted to flee the scene.

The IDF and Shin Bet said Saturday that Israeli forces detained the second suspect after an hourslong manhunt.

The Magen David Adom ambulance said Friday its medics treated a 25-year-old man.

“I heard the sounds of gunfire and at the same time as I received a report about the wounded person who was literally a few houses away from me,” first responder Snir Bruchi said.

“He was sitting in the sukkah in the yard fully conscious and suffered an injury to his upper body,” the MDA medic added, referring to a temporary abode that religious Jews move into during the holiday of Sukkot.

He was taken to the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem for further treatment.

A general view of the West Bank settlement of Beit El near Ramallah, February 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The two gunmen apparently opened fire at the settlement from a nearby hill, close to the Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

Several shell casings were found by troops near where the gunman was killed, the military said.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said in a statement that it was notified of the man’s death, identifying him as 23-year-old Qais Imad Shejaiya, from the town of Dayr Jarir.

Images circulated online showed Shejaiya wearing a Hamas headband while posing with an assault rifle in front of a green flag associated with the terror group.

The IDF said Shejaiya had previously been jailed in Israel for affiliation with Hamas and involvement in terror activities.

The IDF identified the arrested gunman as Muhammad Odeh, 19, also from Dayr Jarir, where he was detained early Saturday morning.

At his home, the military said troops seized weapons, military uniforms, and “propaganda materials.”

Another two men suspected of aiding Odeh were also arrested, the IDF said.

The attack came at a time of rising violence in the West Bank, after two soldiers were killed in shooting attacks on Saturday and Tuesday, one in Jerusalem and the second near Nablus.

On Friday morning, two Palestinian gunmen were shot dead in the West Bank city of Jenin, as Israeli troops arrested a member of the Hamas terror group allegedly responsible for a series of shooting attacks.

Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts in the West Bank since a spate of terror attacks against Israelis in the spring killed 19 people.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli operations this year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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

The rising West Bank violence has also spread to Jerusalem, where Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police and civilians over the past two nights.

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