Palestinian gunmen fired a hail of bullets Wednesday at a military base and nearby checkpoint on the security barrier in the northern West Bank, the Border Police said.
According to a police spokesman, no injuries were caused by the gunfire at Salem base, close to a crossing between Israel and the West Bank and an Arab Israeli town of the same name.
Border Police officers fired back at the gunmen, who fled toward the Jenin area.
A video circulating online purported to show the moment the gunmen opened fire. Sounds of gunfire can be heard in the video.
Police said officers and Israel Defense Forces troops launched a manhunt for the suspects.
Dozens of shell casings were found by troops during scans nearby, the spokesman said.
No officers or soldiers were hurt in the incident.
— Newpress | نيو برس (@NewpressPs) January 11, 2023
The Salem crossing has been the target of numerous shooting attacks in recent months. Israel has at times temporarily shuttered the checkpoint over the attacks.
The crossing is predominantly used by Arab Israelis who travel to the Palestinian city of Jenin and the surrounding area for business or leisure. It had been largely shuttered for civilian traffic in recent years, but was reopened in July 2022 as part of a series of gestures related to US President Joe Biden’s visit to the region.
פיגוע ירי ללא נפגעים בצפון השומרון: מחבלים ירו לעבר מוצב סאלם של משמר הגבול ונמלטו. הלוחמים השיבו בירי. במקום נמצאו 57 תרמילי ירי pic.twitter.com/vkez4QoaF2
— Carmel Dangor כרמל דנגור (@carmeldangor) January 11, 2023
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.
Israeli forces have also ratcheted up arrest raids and counterterror efforts in the West Bank, following a series of terror attacks that killed 31 people in 2022.
The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left over 170 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another four since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.
Shortly after the gunfire on Wednesday, Israeli troops were seen operating in the northern West Bank town of Zababdeh, near Jenin, and were reportedly surrounding a home.
Footage published by Palestinian media showed a convoy of military vehicles in the area.
الاحتلا.ل يدا.هم بلدة الزبابدة في جنين ويحاصر منزلاً pic.twitter.com/4MfAQxeHIG
— Jmedia (@Jmediaps) January 11, 2023
There was no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces or Border Police on the raid, which came hours after troops arrested 19 wanted Palestinians in the West Bank and in a town near Jerusalem.