Israeli soldiers clashed with Palestinian gunmen near the northern West Bank city of Nablus early Wednesday morning, and in a separate operation, demolished a lab used to manufacture explosive devices in a nearby refugee camp, the military said.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, a number of Palestinians opened fire from a passing vehicle at a military post close to Nablus. Troops of the 636th Combat Intelligence Collection Battalion conducting “proactive activity” in the area returned fire at the vehicle, managing to stop it and detain one of the wounded gunmen, the IDF said.
The soldiers seized the gunman’s assault rifle, and found a grenade, military equipment, and more than a dozen magazines inside the vehicle, the IDF said.
His exact condition was not immediately known.
The IDF said it launched a manhunt for the other gunmen who fled the scene.
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers, led by the elite Yahalom combat engineering unit, entered the Balata refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus to destroy an explosives lab and a storage site.
The IDF said soldiers found at least 15 primed makeshift bombs at the lab and the cache. The two sites were blown up by the Yahalom soldiers.
Troops also neutralized a number of explosives planted on the entrance road to Balata, the IDF said.
Also amid the operation, the IDF said Palestinian rioters hurled stones at troops, and gunmen opened fire and hurled explosive devices. The soldiers returned fire at the gunmen, the IDF said.
No soldiers were reported hurt in the overnight incidents.
Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.
Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank have left 26 people dead and several others seriously wounded since the beginning of the year.
According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 171 West Bank Palestinians have also been killed during the same period — most of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including by armed Israeli settlers.