The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday that at an attempted shooting earlier in the day in the West Bank was being investigated as a terror attack.
Citing eyewitnesses, the military said a Palestinian suspect pulled a gun and tried to fire at a car carrying Israeli passengers near the town of Hawara in the northern West Bank.
“The driver of the vehicle discerned the threat and began a pursuit of the suspect that included gunfire. The suspect fled,” the army said.
A statement from the Shomron Regional Council, which has jurisdiction over settlements in the area, said the driver got out the vehicle and fired two shots in the air to drive off the suspect.
Two Israeli hitchhikers, aged 14 and 15, were also in the car, the statement said. It quoted one of them describing how the suspect “cocked the gun and pressed on the trigger several times,” indicating it jammed.
The IDF said no one was injured in the incident and did not report any arrests.
The attempted attack comes amid an uptick in violence in the West Bank over the past week, following a relative lull amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, Sgt. First Class Amit Ben-Ygal was killed during a raid in the town of Yabed after a rock thrown by someone on the roof of a three-story building struck him in the face.
Israeli troops made numerous arrests in Yabed after Ben-Ygal was killed, but the military has yet to announce the capture of the suspected perpetrator.
Days later, a soldier was injured in a suspected car-ramming attack in the southern West Bank.
The driver of the vehicle was shot dead by another soldier at the scene, the military said.
Also last week, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead during clashes with Israeli troops in the al-Fawar refugee camp.
Israeli defense officials have warned of a potential outbreak of violence in response to plans by the government to unilaterally annex portions of the West Bank, as well because of the coronavirus-related economic woes of the Palestinian Authority.