Palestinian assailants killed near Hebron, IDF says; Israeli man injured by explosive

No injuries to Israeli forces in first incident at Beit Einun Junction; man hit by bomb had been trying to kick down Palestinian flag planted in field

Israeli security forces at the site of a reported attack at the Beit Einun junction, east of the West Bank city of Hebron on April 21, 2024. (Hazem Bader/AFPTV/AFP)

Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian attackers who opened fire on and tried to stab troops near the West Bank city of Hebron, the military said Sunday.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, an Israeli man was lightly injured by a small bomb attached to a Palestinian flag planted in a field.

In the first incident, two men approaching the Beit Einun Junction at around 7 a.m. tried to attack soldiers. One of the men pulled out a knife and tried to stab them, and the second then opened fire with a gun, the army said.

Troops returned fire at both attackers, “neutralizing” them, the IDF said. No soldiers were injured.

According to medics, both Palestinian men were killed. They were not immediately identified.

In reported footage from near the attack posted online, a single gunshot could be heard, followed by several shots after a short pause.

Another photo posted online showed a man lying on a sidewalk at the intersection as a soldier trains a rifle on him.

Later Sunday morning, an off-duty IDF reservist was lightly injured as a result of an improvised explosive device near the West Bank settlement of Kohav HaShahar, medics and the army said.

The man was trying to remove a Palestinian flag on the side of Route 458 when it exploded.

Graphic footage filmed by a passenger in a car showed a man walking up to a flag attached to a flagpole planted in a field. As he swings a leg to kick it down, an explosive goes off under him.

Warning: Graphic footage

The man, identified as 28-year-old Israeli Levi, was treated at the scene for minor injuries and later taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said. He had initially declined transport to a hospital.

Levi told the Ynet news site that “it was a serious bomb, but luckily I gave it a kick and the explosion happened to the side, and not on me.”

Levi said fragments hit him in the hands, causing minor injuries.

“I am not afraid of anything,” he said, though he admitted he had learned a lesson to be more careful in the future. Levi also appeared to vow revenge, declaring “We will bust up everyone who did this.”

The IDF said it had dispatched troops to the scene to search for suspects.

In another attack Sunday, Palestinian gunmen in the northern West Bank opened fire at the Israeli community of Kibbutz Meirav, the IDF said.

There were no injuries in the attack, but slight damage was caused to one of the homes.

Meirav lies close to the Green Line, which separates Israel from the West Bank. While Palestinians periodically carry out shooting attacks against Israelis in the West Bank, shooting attacks from the West Bank into Israel are less common.

The army said troops were blocking roads and scanning the area for the suspects.

Amid searches in the town of Jalbun, from which the attack was carried out, Palestinians hurled an explosive at the troops, the IDF said. There were no injuries.

Two other attacks on troops were reported overnight.

Shots were fired at the Salam army outpost in the northern West Bank, near the Palestinian city of Jenin, causing no injuries. In addition, shots were also fired at a military vehicle near the village of Bayt Sira in the northern West Bank. There were no injuries although some bullets hit the vehicle.

The incidents came as tensions continued to boil in the West Bank, where 10 Palestinian gunmen were killed during a two-day military raid in a camp near Tulkarem on Friday and Saturday. Frictions have been elevated since war broke out in the Gaza Strip against Palestinian terror group Hamas, with clashes between settlers and Palestinians becoming more frequent, critics say.

On Saturday, the Palestinian Authority said that an ambulance driver was killed in the West Bank on his way to evacuate people wounded during an alleged violent attack by residents of nearby settlements.

Israeli security forces cordon off the site of a reported attack at the Beit Einun junction, east of the West Bank city of Hebron on April 21, 2024. (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Settler violence in the West Bank has spiked since the body of 14-year-old Israeli sheepherder Benjamin Achimeir was found earlier this month. Security forces said he had been murdered in a terror attack.

War in Gaza erupted on October 7 when Hamas led a devastating cross-border attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Israel responded with a military campaign to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza, destroy the terror group, and free 253 hostages who were abducted during the October 7 assault.

Since October 7, troops have arrested some 3,700 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,600 affiliated with Hamas. According to the Palestinian Authority’s health ministry, more than 480 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time.

In the same period, at least 13 Israelis, among them two members of security forces, have been killed by Palestinians in the West Bank, according to an Israeli tally.

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