By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner
A high state of security alert continues both in the West Bank Districts of Judea and Samaria, as well as across Israel.
A vehicle travelling at high speed targeted Israeli troops as they were leaving the Jalazone Camp near Ramallah around 4 AM this morning following the arrest of a wanted Palestinian.
“The soldiers responded with fire and neutralized the two suspects,” said the IDF in a statement.
Two of the Palestinians were shot dead and a third was injured during the attempted terror attack, while there were no reported injuries among the Israeli troops.
In other separate incidents of weekend violence, a pregnant Israeli woman was lightly wounded near the Bethlehem-area community of Tekoa when the car she was traveling in was pelted with rocks. An IDF soldier was lightly wounded last night after being shot in the leg near the Shomron Brigade Junction by a terrorist who fled the scene. A driver near Nablus sustained light injuries yesterday morning when his vehicle and a civilian bus came under fire by Palestinian gunmen, who also escaped. IDF troops have launched manhunts for all of the assailants.
Additionally, Israeli border police driving near the village Al-Azaria outside Jerusalem came under attack from a group of Palestinians throwing firebombs and rocks. One of the suspects was shot by an officer, said a Police Spokesperson; the Palestinian Health Ministry later confirmed one person was killed.
Israeli defense establishment officials revealed intelligence warnings of dozens of planned terror attacks.
IDF, Israel Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet) and Border Police Special Operations Forces conducted overnight counterterrorism activities at several locations throughout the West Bank, including the capture of 16 wanted terror suspects.
“We face many challenges in separate operational circles. In Judea and Samaria, we witness shooting attacks towards civilians and IDF forces who operate in the sector. We operate day and night in preventative efforts to eradicate terror. There are no safe havens in Judea and Samaria. We will reach anywhere that is needed and will do everything necessary and that is deemed the correct action,” said Major General Oded Basiuk, Commander of the IDF Operations Directorate, tasked with the planning of activities in the field including times of war.
During an official handover ceremony, outgoing IDF Operations Division Commander Brigadier General Yaron Finkelman stressed that, “The IDF acts operationally at any given moment in all sectors, all dimensions and all distances. Intensive activity in high tempo and perpetual learning competition versus our enemies and it (IDF) does so creatively, determinedly and with courage. Many of our actions are covert and, not to exaggerate, go beyond any imagination. It is good that the people of Israel do not know all that is done – albeit somewhat unfortunate.”
Finkelman’s successor, Brigadier General Shlomi Binder, expressed confidence in Israel’s ability to withstand any challenge presented by a growing list of enemies.
The latest actions are part of the half-year-long Operation Waves Breaker launched by Jerusalem’s defense establishment to root-out terror elements in the West Bank to counter a deadly surge of attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people between March and May 2022.
Since that time, IDF, Israel Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet) and Border Police Special Operations forces have repeatedly come under attack during nightly raids while carrying out ongoing anti-terror activities throughout Judea and Samaria.