Three IDF soldiers were injured last night in a shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Beit El. Soldiers at the scene responded by opening fire and killing the attacker, who was identified as an officer with the Palestinian security services. The three wounded Israeli soldiers were treated at the scene, after which they were evacuated to Jerusalem’s Hadassah medical center in light-to-moderate condition. An initial investigation revealed that the Palestinian assailant was armed with a Palestinian Authority issued assault rifle that was in his possession to perform his duties as a security guard at one of the Palestinian government ministries in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
This is the third time an assailant affiliated with the Palestinian security services has committed a shooting attack against Israeli soldiers. On December 31st, a similar attack was committed, when a man who served with the Palestinian security services opened fire on IDF troops near a checkpoint, injuring one soldier lightly and another Arab man who happened to be passing by. The attacker was shot dead on the scene by Israeli troops that responded to the attack. A month later a Palestinian man who worked as a driver for the general prosecutor of Ramallah made his way to the same checkpoint where last night’s attack took place. During a routine inspection, the Palestinian assailant pulled out a pistol and shot and injured three soldiers. Also in this incident, the assailant was shot dead by IDF troops on scene, that responded to the attack.
A Hamas-affiliated website reported that Palestinian security forces may have tried to prevent last night’s terror attack. The report said that a few hours before the attack, members of the Palestinian Preventive Intelligence Services went to the house of the assailant in the Palestinian town of Kabatya and confiscated weapons and ammunition.