Unknown assailants shot at an Israeli ambulance near a West Bank settlement late Saturday night, damaging the vehicle but not causing any injuries.
Officials said between 15 and 19 shots were fired at a Magen Daven Adom emergency vehicle between the settlement of Beit El and the neighboring outpost of Givat Asaf north of Ramallah, with at least four bullets hitting the van.
Israeli security forces were dispatched to the nearby Palestinian village of Beytan to search for suspects, according to Hebrew media reports.
MDA head Eli Bin said he was sure security forces would catch those involved and work to prevent further attacks.
“MDA, Israel’s national rescue organization, regards this as a severe incident that crosses a red line in an attempt to purposefully attack a vehicle meant to care for and evacuate the sick and wounded,” Bin said in a statement.
The attacker apparently shot from next to a new road recently built to connect Beytan to Ramallah, according to the Ynet news website.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Beit El local government head Shai Alon said the IDF had recently reopened the road over protestations by the settlement leadership, who said it had been the cause of security issues.
“Tonight the attackers came via the new road and escaped after shooting at the ambulance, and only by a miracle didn’t hurt anyone,” he said in a statement. “The writing was on the wall and we demand defense officials not reopen the road.”
The attack comes a day after a Palestinian assailant opened fire on a group of soldiers manning the Bekaot checkpoint in the northern West Bank.
The attacker was shot and killed by troops without causing any injuries.
Last week, a Palestinian man stabbed and seriously injured an Israeli Border Police officer outside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, police said. An officer on the scene shot the suspected assailant.
The suspect in that attack was identified as an 18-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank, who was named by Arabic media as Yasser Yassin Tarwa of Hebron. He was seriously injured and sent to Hadassah Hospital. The officer suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest and was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital after receiving treatment on site.