Israeli troops come under fire near northern West Bank town; no injuries

Local wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad claims responsibility, publishes video of members shooting at soldiers in area

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

File: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, September 19, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
File: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, September 19, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops operating in the northern West Bank on Tuesday night came under fire by Palestinian gunmen, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, troops were conducting “routine activity” near the Palestinian town of Asira ash-Shamaliya, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire from a passing vehicle.

No soldiers were hurt in the incident, and the IDF said troops returned fire at the gunmen as they fled.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said its members had opened fire at Israeli troops close to the nearby village of Jaba’, about 12 kilometers northwest of Asira ash-Shamaliya.

The Jenin wing of the PIJ published a video purportedly showing the moment of the shooting.

The IDF said it was unaware of another shooting incident near Jaba’, indicating the PIJ claim was in reference to the same event near Asira ash-Shamaliya.

The shooting came amid an uptick in shooting attacks and rising violence in the West Bank, particularly in its north.

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

Early Sunday morning, a Palestinian gunman was killed in a clash with Israeli forces near Nablus.

The IDF said troops identified a group of armed Palestinians driving near Nablus on a motorcycle and by car. The group was thought to have been heading to commit a shooting attack in the area.

Palestinian men walk past the charred remains of a motorcycle in Nablus in the West Bank on September 25, 2022, following clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen. (AFP)

Earlier Tuesday, the military announced the arrest of four suspects in the northern West Bank, as part of a months-long counter-terror crackdown.

In recent months Israeli troops have also repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

The military launched the arrest operations after a series of deadly attacks that killed 19 people between mid-March and the beginning of May.

Many of the IDF’s arrests in recent months have concentrated on Nablus and Jenin, in the northern West Bank, where a number of the terrorists who committed the attacks earlier this year hailed from.

Israeli security officials have warned in recent months that the Palestinian Authority is losing control of the northern West Bank.

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