update deskIsrael at War

IDF soldier killed, another seriously wounded near Tulkarem

According to an initial IDF probe, the two soldiers' APC was hit by a powerful explosive charge.

An Israeli counter-terror raid in the Nur Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm, on July 24, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
An Israeli counter-terror raid in the Nur Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm, on July 24, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

An Israel Defense Forces soldier was killed and another seriously wounded by Palestinian terrorists in the Nur Shams camp, east of Tulkarem in Samaria, the military announced on Monday night.

The casualty was identified as Sgt. First Class (res.) Yehuda Geto, 22, from Pardes Hanna-Karkur near Haifa. The seriously wounded soldier is a commander in the Duvdevan commando unit, according to the IDF.

According to an initial IDF probe, the two soldiers were inside a Panther APC, which was being driven by Geto, when terrorists activated a powerful explosive charge, killing him and disabling the vehicle.

The bomb, which used “dozens” of pounds of explosive material, had been buried just under the surface of the road, according to Israel’s Ynet news outlet.

The incident was said to have taken place shortly after other Duvdevan troops had disembarked from the APC to carry out a counterterror raid.

The Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization took responsibility for the bombing, publishing a video of the incident.

While attempting to rescue the wounded soldiers from the area, the IDF launched a drone strike against a squad of gunmen, but the missile failed to detonate, according to Channel 12 News.

Later, a group of terrorists tried to tamper with the munition, setting it off. The errant detonation reportedly killed a female Palestinian bystander.

Last week, an IDF soldier was killed and 16 were wounded during a counterterror operation in Jenin in northern Samaria. An initial inquiry into the incident indicated that an APC was disabled by a bomb buried under a road. The blast lightly wounded the troops inside the vehicle.

Then, when additional forces were rushed to the scene to evacuate the wounded troops, a second explosive charge was triggered, causing the death of Capt. Alon Sacgiu, 22, and wounding additional soldiers.

Ynet noted that the two attacks in Samaria were different in nature. In the June 27 incident, the explosive device was planted at a depth of over 1.5 meters (5 feet) under the road’s surface, while Sgt. Geto is believed to have been killed by a shallowly buried bomb in an area where the army believed there was no risk.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, per IDF data.

Since the beginning of the war with Hamas on Oct. 7, the Israel Defense Forces has carried out intensive ground operations in Samaria, arresting hundreds of suspects and dismantling terror infrastructure, including explosives buried under roads, intended to kill IDF soldiers.

Last month, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich urged immediate government action after Hamas terrorists fired across the security fence toward central Israel from Samaria two times within the span of a week.

“Terrorism must be eradicated everywhere, even if it means Tulkarem [in Samaria] will look like Gaza looks today,” said Smotrich, who oversees civilian issues in Judea and Samaria in the Defense Ministry.

On May 29, two Israeli soldiers were killed in a vehicular assault near the city of Nablus (Shechem) in Samaria. The suspected terrorist reportedly turned himself in to Palestinian Authority police but was not handed over to Israel, instead being released from custody and moved into hiding by officers of Ramallah’s General Intelligence Service.

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