Palestinian gunman reported killed in West Bank as IDF hunts for fugitive shooter

Apparent PIJ member dies in exchange of fire near Jenin; 17 terror suspects arrested in overnight raids across West Bank; search continues for suspect in attack on soldiers’ bus

Israeli soldiers block the area near the scene of a shooting attack on a bus on road 90 in the Jordan Valley, September 4, 2022. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers block the area near the scene of a shooting attack on a bus on road 90 in the Jordan Valley, September 4, 2022. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

A Palestinian gunman was reported killed overnight Sunday in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces during a West Bank arrest operation. The clash came as security forces continued intensive arrest operations in the northern West Bank as well as a hunt for a gunman who participated in Sunday’s shooting attack on a bus full of Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Seven people were wounded when three Palestinians opened fire at a bus carrying soldiers on Sunday, including the civilian driver who was seriously injured. Six troops were left with non-life-threatening injuries. Two of the gunmen were captured and a third escaped. Searches Monday were focusing on the area of Tubas, east of Nablus.

Security forces arrested 17 suspects across the West Bank overnight Sunday, the IDF said. In Jenin and the town of Qabatiya, five terror suspects were arrested. During the arrest operation gunmen opened fire at security forces, who shot back.

Palestinian media identified the gunman who was killed as Taher Zakarna, 19.

Images circulated online showed Zakarna wearing a headband bearing the logo of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, although the terror group did not immediately claim him as a member.

The army said there were no injuries to Israeli forces amid the gun battle.

During the raids security forces also confiscated weapons, weapons parts, ammunition and funds.

Four IDF soldiers were hurt when Palestinians opened fire at a military post in the central West Bank on Sunday night, the military said.

The four soldiers were listed in good condition and treated at the scene, the IDF said. The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service said one was taken for further medical treatment at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan after sustaining injuries from shrapnel.

The military launched a manhunt for the suspects who fled the scene. According to Palestinian media reports, the army closed the main entrance to Nabi Saleh, a frequent flashpoint between soldiers and Palestinians.

The incidents came amid rising violence in the West Bank. On Friday, a soldier was stabbed in Hebron, and there have been numerous stone-throwing attacks on Israeli civilians driving in the West Bank in recent days.

Shortly before midnight Sunday, a 39-year-old man was brought to a Jerusalem hospital with light injuries to his upper body after being pelted with rocks while driving on Route 60 north of Jerusalem, a spokesperson for the Magen David Adom rescue service said.

“We are in a very complex period here, which is not over yet,” a senior IDF officer told reporters Sunday.

A deadly wave of terror attacks earlier this year left 19 people dead, though tensions had appeared to calm before the latest flareup.

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