In the morning of March 17, one Israeli was killed and two others were injured in two shooting attacks in the Israeli-held part of the Palestinian Western Bank.
Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the attack began at around 9:45 a.m. near the Ariel Junction, where a gunman assaulted a soldier with a knife and managed to gain control of his weapon. The gunman went on to open fire at two cars injuring a civilian than hijacked a third car and fled the area.
Later, the attacker went to the nearby Gitai Junction, where he shot at an Israeli soldier standing at a hitchhiking post, injuring him.
The attacker drove to the nearby Palestinian village of Burqin after carrying out the second attack. Reinforcements of the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Police were deployed around the village, where a manhunt is ongoing.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that the attacker appears to be a Palestinian. However, he stressed that it’s unclear whether the suspect was affiliated with any groups or if he was acting alone.
In his first comment on the incident, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the attackers will be apprehended and brought to justice.
“I am sending my support to the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces], Shin Bet and security services chasing the terrorists,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The attack will likely raise the already high tension between Israel the Palestinian parties. Just a few days ago, the Israeli military struck 100 targets inside the Palestinian Gaza Strip after the launch of two rockets at Tel Aviv.
- Over 100 Strikes Hit Gaza. Palestinian Sources Accuse Israel Of Staging Provociation To Trigger Escalation