Suspected Palestinian gunmen hit settlement homes in southern West Bank; no injuries

Military launches manhunt following attack against Asa’el; bullets shatter window in one home

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

File: A view of the West Bank settlement of Asael on February 13, 2023. (HAZEM BADER / AFP)
File: A view of the West Bank settlement of Asael on February 13, 2023. (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Gunmen fired a hail of bullets at a settlement in the southern West Bank Sunday evening, the military said, hitting several homes without causing any casualties.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, slight damage was caused to a number of homes in the settlement of Asa’el, located on the southern edge of the West Bank. A window of one home in the settlement was shattered in the attack, which the military attributed to Palestinian assailants.

There were no injuries in the attack, medical officials and the military said.

The IDF said troops launched a manhunt for the suspects, who fled the scene. The bullets were fired from outside the settlement, which is located south of the Palestinian town of as-Samu and some 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) north of the Green Line.

Asa’el was one of nine illegal West Bank outposts legalized by the government in February.

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.

On Friday night, Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank opened fire at the northern Kibbutz Meirav, adjacent to the Israeli security barrier. A group of Meirav residents crossed the fence into the nearby Palestinian village of Jalbun Sunday morning to protest the attack, the latest of several to target the community.

Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

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