Shots fired from car at IDF patrol in West Bank

Police officer run over at improvised checkpoint; man injured by stones thrown at Israeli bus

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of an Israeli army jeep in Hebron, November 7, 2013 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of an Israeli army jeep in Hebron, November 7, 2013 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

An IDF patrol vehicle came under fire from a passing car Tuesday near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem. No injuries or damage were reported.

The soldiers on patrol reported hearing shots from a nearby vehicle, but were unable to apprehend the fleeing suspects.

Israeli security forces placed road blocks on the highway near the settlement of Maale Amos, also in the Etzion bloc, and began searching the area for the culprit of the shooting, Maariv reported.

Several hours later, an Israeli man was lightly injured when stones were thrown at a bus near the West Bank settlement of Alei Zahav. Paramedics treated the 51-year-old man and rushed him to a nearby hospital in Petah Tikva.

IDF forces began searching the area for suspects.

Also on Tuesday, near the village of Issawiya, north of Jerusalem, a police officer was purposely run over by a speeding driver.

The police officer had attempted to apprehend the driver after the vehicle did not slow down at an improvised police checkpoint. Two suspects were arrested in connection with the incident and brought to a nearby police station for further questioning.

The officer was rushed to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem; his condition was not immediately clear.

Terror attacks in both the West Bank and along the Gaza Strip border have seen a steady rise over the past few months, peaking over the last three days.

Earlier Tuesday, the Israeli air force launched strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip, in response to a sniper attack earlier that killed an Israeli civilian.

The Israeli who was killed, 22-year-old Saleh Abu Latif from the predominantly Bedouin city of Rahat, was working between Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza as a civilian employed by the Israeli Defense Ministry on repairs to a section of the Israel-Gaza border fence damaged in last week’s storm.

Military sources said that the airstrikes were “limited in scope” and “are not ongoing.” Aside from a directive given to farmers to avoid the fields in direct proximity to the border, the IDF Home Front Command issued no further orders to civilians in the area.

According to Palestinian sources in the Strip, two people — a 3-year-old child named Hala Sabiha and her father — were killed during the Israeli strikes, and nine were injured.

Israeli sources say Hamas has pointedly neglected its duties under agreements reached following last year’s Operation Pillar of Defense, according to which Hamas was responsible for patrolling the Gazan side of the border and preventing attacks on Israel from the Strip.

There have reportedly been several attempts to place explosives on the border fence in the past several days.

On Monday, Gazans fired a rocket that landed near a children’s bus stop in the Ashkelon area.

The IDF said it would not change plans to ease restrictions on Palestinian Christians in the West Bank and Gaza for the Christmas holiday.

A spokesperson declined to comment on steps the army may take to increase its level of readiness in the face of the string of attacks.

The Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report

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