Palestinian gunman opens fire at West Bank restaurant; no injuries

Military source says suspect only managed to fire a single shot before fleeing as his rifle jammed; IDF launches manhunt

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

Security camera footage shows the suspects who allegedly carried out a shooting attack at the Almog Junction in the West Bank, January 28, 2023. (Courtesy)
Security camera footage shows the suspects who allegedly carried out a shooting attack at the Almog Junction in the West Bank, January 28, 2023. (Courtesy)

A Palestinian gunman opened fire at a restaurant near the Almog Junction close to Jericho in the West Bank Saturday evening, the military said.

Surveillance camera footage of the incident showed the gunman armed with an assault rifle and another person approaching the restaurant.

A military source said the gunman’s weapon jammed, and he only managed to fire one shot before fleeing the scene.

The Israel Defense Forces said it had launched a manhunt for the suspects who fled in a vehicle.

There were no injuries in the attack.

Security camera footage from another angle showed the vehicle they were driving had an Israeli license plate.

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

Saturday’s shooting followed a pair of terror attacks in Jerusalem over the past day. On Friday night, a Palestinian gunman from East Jerusalem killed seven and injured three more in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood, and the next morning, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two Israeli men near the Old City.

The attacks followed days of violence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Tensions have increased dramatically since Thursday morning, when an Israel Defense Forces raid in the West Bank against a terrorist cell left nine Palestinians dead — most of them gunmen and members of the cell, though at least one civilian was also killed.

The IDF said Thursday’s operation in the Jenin refugee camp was necessary to foil imminent attack plans by a local Islamic Jihad terror cell. The group had primed explosives and firearms, according to the IDF.

Hamas and other terror groups praised Friday’s attack as a response to Thursday’s IDF operation, but no faction took responsibility for it.

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