By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner
At least 8 bullets struck the windows and the carriage of the civilian vehicle as it was traveling on the West Bank’s main north-south Route 60 highway in the Binyamin district near the Jewish community of Ofra, according to an IDF statement.
After coming under fire, the driver managed to drive to the nearby Shiloh junction. Medics who rushed to the scene were unneeded as no injuries were sustained by any of the passengers in the attack.
Silwad was closed off as part of the immediate IDF operation in search of the assailants.
Stressing that there were no casualties of the shooting was “a very big miracle,” Binyamin Regional Council Chairman Yisrael Gantz called on Israel’s defense authorities to exercise “resolute and in-depth action immediately to eradicate terrorism and to restore deterrence.”
The latest violence comes amid escalated tensions as Israel continues to root-out terror elements throughout the West Bank districts of Judea, Samaria and Jordan Valley as part of the ongoing Operation Waves Breaker in the wake of a deadly surge of attacks against Israelis that left 19 people dead earlier this year. More than 20 wanted terror suspects were apprehended by IDF, Israel Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet) and Border Police Special Operations forces at multiple locations over the weekend.
Exchanges of gunfire erupted during several of the counter-terror operations. A number of “hits were identified” among the Palestinian gunmen, but no injuries were reported among the Israeli troops.
There were also several incidents at a number of West Bank checkpoints over the weekend. Three Palestinian women were apprehended at the Eliyahu Crossing in the Samaria District last night, after a search of their vehicle found they were illegally in possession of a “Carlo” semi-automatic rifle. A suicide note was also located among their belongings, prompting Israeli defense authorities to underscore the effective aversion of a likely impending terror attack. Separately, two Arab-Israelis from Kafr Qassem were arrested during an attempt to smuggle about two thousand 5.56 mm bullets through the Reihan Crossing in Northern Samaria.
In related developments, Iran affirmed unwavering support for its Palestinian terrorist proxies in battle against the Jewish State. Declaring there is “no safe haven” anywhere in Israel and that its entirety is “within reach of the Palestinian resistance movement’s firepower,” Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami further threatened that its Lebanon-based Hezbollah proxy also has “hundreds of thousands of missiles” that “are pointed at the Zionist regime.”