NEAR KDUMIM SETTLEMENT, West Bank (Reuters) -A suspected Palestinian assailant shot and killed an Israeli near a settlement in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Israel’s ambulance service said.
The Israeli military said the assailant had opened fire at security forces who had stopped to inspect his vehicle, which they found suspicious, near the Kdumim settlement. He then fled the scene before he was tracked down and “neutralized.”
Video on social media, filmed from a moving vehicle, appeared to show several soldiers opening fire at the foothills of a settlement. Reuters could not immediately verify the footage.
Israel’s Army Radio said the assailant had driven to the settlement from the direction of the nearby Palestinian city Nablus. He fired a handgun from within his vehicle, killing one Israeli, it said.
The attack followed Israel’s two-day operation earlier in the week in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, about 10 kilometres away, its biggest in years.
The two-day operation, which the Israeli military said targeted infrastructure and weapons depots of militants in the Jenin refugee camp, left a trail of wrecked streets and burned-out cars and sparked fury across the Arab world.
At least 12 Palestinians, most confirmed as militant fighters, and one Israeli soldier were killed in the incursion, which began with late-night drone strikes, followed by a sweep involving more than 1,000 Israeli troops.
Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip but also has a presence in the West Bank, praised Thursday’s shooting which it said was a response to Israel’s Jenin operation.
Violence in the West Bank has escalated over the past 15 months, with increased Israeli raids, Palestinian street attacks and settler rampages in Palestinian villages.
(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by James Mackenzie, Toby Chopra and Conor Humphries)
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