Three Israelis have been injured in a drive-by shooting in the northern West Bank, followed by Israeli forces firing back at the vehicle which fled the scene, as tensions in the occupied territories intensify.
The shots were fired from the car at the Tapuah Junction south of Nablus on Sunday, the Israeli military said, adding that two of the Israelis sustained serious injuries.
“IDF troops returned fire at the vehicle, which fled the scene. IDF troops are searching for the vehicle and are setting up roadblocks in the area,” the military said, according to Israeli media, which claimed that the victims were civilians.
Palestinian sources, however, refuted Israeli media’s claim, saying the Israelis shot in the incident were soldiers.
They quoted eyewitnesses as saying that a Palestinian came out of his car near a checkpoint and began firing at Israeli troops, after which the shooter got into the car and left the scene.
Medics said one of the injured Israelis was in critical condition and received CPR en route to the hospital and another was in and out of consciousness, while the third sustained light injuries.
“Many medical teams from different specialties are providing treatment and doing what they can to stabilize the conditions” of the two seriously injured soldiers, a hospital spokesperson said.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced certainty that the attackers would be tracked down quickly.
The incident came hours after Israeli forces killed a Palestinian woman in the southern part of West Bank over an alleged stabbing attempt against the regime’s soldiers.
In a statement, the Israeli military said the attempted stabbing occurred at Gush Etzion Junction near the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil, located 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Sunday morning.
Following the Sunday attack, Palestinian resistance groups lauded the act against Israeli occupation forces, stressing that resistance was a “strategic option” to fight against Israeli aggression.
In a statement, the Hamas resistance group praised the operation, saying it was a “natural response” to the Israeli regime’s aggression against Jerusalem al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque.
Hamas noted that the message of the operation is clear to the Israeli army and officials.
The movement also called on the Palestinian people to intensify their resistance against the “extremist Zionists” who intend to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound.
The Islamic Jihad movement also said the operation was a message from Palestinians to the Israeli regime that Jerusalem al-Quds is “our red line and that desecrating the sanctities will lead to endless Palestinian anger against the regime.”