image Photo: Reuters, Flash90

Palestinian officer shot dead after firing at IDF

A Palestinian Preventive Security Service officer armed with a pistol opened fire from a moving vehicle at IDF soldiers near an army checkpoint in the West Bank. Troops returned fire, killing the gunman.

No Israeli soldiers were wounded during the incident, which occurred at a major intersection south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israeli civilians and soldiers have been targeted by a continuous series of shooting, stabbing, car-ramming, explosive, airborne incendiary and rocket attacks by Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.

The terrorist was identified as 28-year-old Bilal Rawajba, who Palestinian sources say held the rank of a captain. He is believed to have been a resident of a nearby Arab village.

The Preventive Security Service is among other Palestinian units that cooperated with Israel in the past by helping to contain West Bank violence that has festered since diplomacy between the sides stalled in 2014. Security coordination between the two sides was severed in May 2020, however, by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in protest over Israel’s since-shelved plan to annex parts of the West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood.

The Palestinian Authority reacted to Rawajba’s death with fury, and has accused Israel of having carried out an “execution.” The official Facebook account of the PA’s Foreign Ministry published a post, reading: “May God have mercy on you, Bilal. We came from Allah and to Him we return.”