Settlement guard, military post targeted in shooting attacks near Nablus — IDF

No injuries reported from gunfire in northern West Bank as troops launch manhunt for suspects; Lion’s Den claims responsibility

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

Illustrative: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

A settlement security guard came under fire in the northern West Bank on Thursday evening, shortly before Palestinian gunmen also targeted a nearby military post, the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to the IDF and local officials, the security coordinator for the Har Bracha settlement was conducting a routine patrol when shots were fired toward him. The guard returned fire at the source of the shooting.

A short while later, Palestinian gunmen targeted a military post close to the nearby city of Nablus.

There were no injuries in either incident, the IDF said.

The Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group claimed responsibility for both attacks, publishing unclear videos purporting to show the moment of the shootings.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad also claimed to have shot at troops near Nablus around the same time, but did not immediately provide any evidence.

Troops scouring the area in a search for suspects found numerous shell casings, the IDF said.

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.

The attacks came amid a months-long Israeli anti-terror effort, mostly in the northern West Bank, following a series of terror attacks that left 31 people dead 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.

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