Soldier killed, another seriously hurt by roadside bomb in West Bank’s Nur Shams

Two Palestinians killed during attempt to extract troops from refugee camp near Tulkarem, including woman reportedly hit by shrapnel when gunmen set off unexploded missile

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

Sgt. First Class (res.) Yehuda Geto, killed in the West Bank on July 1, 2024. (Courtesy)
Sgt. First Class (res.) Yehuda Geto, killed in the West Bank on July 1, 2024. (Courtesy)

An Israeli soldier was killed and another was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb during a counterterrorism raid in the West Bank on Monday morning, the military said.

The slain soldier was named by the Israel Defense Forces as Sgt. First Class (res.) Yehuda Geto, 22, from Pardes Hanna-Karkur. Two Palestinians were also killed during attempts to evacuate the two from the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem.

The two soldiers were inside a Panther armored personnel carrier when the bomb exploded. Geto was the driver, and the seriously wounded soldier is a commander in the Duvdevan commando unit.

According to an initial IDF probe, the vehicle was waiting in an area of Nur Shams where explosive devices were not believed by the army to have been planted. Other Duvdevan troops had disembarked from the APC to carry out operations on foot.

Armed groups in the West Bank frequently plant improvised explosive devices under roads to attack Israeli forces carrying out arrest raids. The military regularly rips up roads with armored bulldozers as a precautionary measure before entering with lighter-armed vehicles.

In this case, the army did not rip up the road where the APC was waiting.

The bomb was believed by the IDF to have been improvised, using dozens of kilograms of explosive material. The APC was disabled by the large blast, and later towed out of Nur Shams.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.

While trying to extract the two soldiers, the IDF attempted to carry out a drone strike against a group of gunmen in the area, though the missile did not explode, the probe found.

Later, several gunmen attempted to tamper with the missile, setting it off. The explosion killed a Palestinian woman who was standing nearby, according to the military probe.

Separately, Duvdevan troops shot dead a Palestinian gunman who tried to open fire on the forces, the IDF said.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry confirmed that a woman and a teenager had been killed. Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, named the slain Palestinians as Nisreen Khaled Damiri, 47, and Muhammad Ali Sarhan, 15.

Wafa reported that the woman was hit by shrapnel from the drone missile, and the teenager was shot in the head.

The incident came days after a similar attack in the Jenin area, in which a soldier was killed and 16 others were hurt when Islamic Jihad operatives detonated bombs against army vehicles during a raid.

Palestinians walk along a damaged road following an Israeli operation in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, July 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Tensions have been high in the West Bank amid the war in the Gaza Strip, which began on October 7 when thousands of Hamas terrorists attacked southern Israel under a barrage of rockets fired at population centers all over the country. They brutally killed some 1,200 people, amid instances of torture and rape, and seized 251 hostages.

Since October 7, troops have arrested some 4,200 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,750 affiliated with Hamas.

According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, more than 540 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time. The IDF says the vast majority of them were gunmen killed during raids or terrorists carrying out attacks.

During the same period, 21 Israelis, including security personnel, have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank. Another five members of the security forces were killed in clashes with terror operatives in the West Bank, including in Monday’s incident.

Most Popular
read more: