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Two Palestinians arrested for shooting at IDF troops in West Bank

Military says forces came under fire during ‘routine activity’ near town of Aqraba; one suspect wounded after being shot during chase

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

Illustrative: IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank Palestinian town of Silat al-Harithiya, on December 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank Palestinian town of Silat al-Harithiya, on December 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Two Palestinians have been arrested for allegedly shooting at Israeli troops near the West Bank town of Aqraba on Wednesday night.

“Last night, during a routine activity by IDF forces on a road near Aqraba… gunfire was identified toward forces operating in the area,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on Thursday.

The IDF said the suspects opened fire using Carlo makeshift sub-machine guns.

Soldiers, along with members of the Shin Bet security agency, chased the suspects in the town, during which time the suspects opened fire at troops again, the IDF said.

One of the suspects was shot by Israeli forces, and one of their weapons was seized, the military said.

The wounded suspect was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, after which he will be taken for further questioning along with the second suspect.

There were no reports of Israeli soldiers hurt in the two shooting incidents.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, a military vehicle was damaged in the attack.

The shooting comes after nine Palestinians were killed in violent confrontations with Israeli troops in recent weeks. Some died in gun battles with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank during raids, and others died in attempted stabbing attacks in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Officials have warned of a possible flare-up of violence during Ramadan next month. Shin Bet head Ronen Bar held talks with his FBI counterpart in Washington this week on the matter, the Ynet news site reported. And Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who oversees the police, warned in response to the Jerusalem stabbing attacks that “terrorists and extremists will try to set the area on fire” in the coming weeks.

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