Three Palestinians opened fire toward a Border Police base in Israeli territory near the northern West Bank on Friday, with two of the attackers killed and one wounded when officers on the scene returned fire.
There were no reports of Israeli injuries in the incident at the gate of the Salem Border Police base, which straddles the West Bank border.
“The terrorists fired at the gate of the base. Border Police officers and an IDF soldier responded by firing and neutralizing the three terrorists,” police said in a statement.
The injured gunman was taken by the IDF to the Emek Medical Center near Afula for treatment.
Aside from the makeshift Carlo-style submachine gun each assailant used, knives were found on each of their bodies, media reports said.
Sergeant S. who led the force during operational activity outside the gate of the base said she and her soldiers identified three armed suspects running towards them and opening fire.
“We loaded our weapons and grabbed cover as we responded with gunfire. During the gun battle we heard bullets whizzing over our heads, she said, adding that she “hopes this will be the last event like this.”
The attack came amid rising tensions in Jerusalem, the West Bank and along the Gaza border. Police bolstered their presence in Jerusalem on Friday ahead of prayers to mark the final weekend of Ramadan.
It came a day after the funeral of Yehuda Guetta, a 19-year-old student who was shot in the head in a drive-by terror attack at Tapuah junction in the West Bank earlier this week, and who died of his injuries on Wednesday night.
Additionally, tensions are high in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah where there have been ongoing protests over the last week as dozens of Palestinians are at risk of being evicted following a long legal battle with right-wing Jewish Israelis trying to acquire property in the neighborhood, just north of Jerusalem’s Old City.
The clashes have raised fears of sparking a wider conflict with the Hamas terror group and other factions in Gaza, warning of renewed violence over the issue.
On Thursday, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said Israel will be held responsible for “every drop of blood [that is] shed in Palestine,” a day after a 16-year-old Palestinian was killed in clashes with the IDF.
Echoing similar rhetoric, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), another Gaza-based terror group, warned Israel “not to test the patience of our fighters,” in a statement on Thursday night.