Man lightly wounded in West Bank terror shooting

Victim injured in the leg as he drove on Route 60 highway near Bet Hagai settlement; IDF believes attacker opened fire from passing vehicle

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

File: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, December 28, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
File: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, December 28, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

A man was lightly injured late Friday night when his car was targeted by Palestinian gunmen in the southern West Bank, the military and medics said.

The Magen David Adom emergency service said the man, aged around 65, was wounded in the leg, apparently as the result of gunfire, when he was driving along the Route 60 highway near the settlement of Beit Hagai, south of Hebron.

A preliminary investigation by the Israel Defense Forces found the attacker or attackers opened fire from a passing vehicle.

Troops found shell casings at the scene and were carrying out searches in the area for the assailant, the IDF said in a statement.

There have been numerous Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli motorists over the past week.

On Sunday, brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, from the settlement of Har Bracha, were killed in a terror attack in their car as they sat in traffic in the town of Huwara.

After that, hundreds of extremist settlers ran riot through Huwara and nearby towns, with the violence leaving one Palestinian dead — Sameh Aqtash — and several others badly injured, as well as torching homes and cars, and killing sheep.

A day later, Israeli-American Elan Ganeles was shot dead by Palestinian terrorists in the Jordan Valley as he drove to a wedding. Several other Israeli motorists were also targeted in the attack, as well as another Israeli-owned car in another area of the West Bank, all without injuries being caused.

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

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been high for the past year, with the IDF conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.

A string of Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent months have left 14 Israelis dead and several more seriously hurt.

At least 64 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.

There has also been a rise in settler violence toward Palestinians in recent months.

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