An Israel Defense Forces soldier was shot and seriously wounded on Wednesday during a counterterrorism operation in the Samaria city of Tulkarem, according to the IDF. The soldier was evacuated to a hospital for treatment.
Troops ordered a drone strike on the gunmen in response, killing several terrorists, according to the military. The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry claimed four men were killed in the retaliatory attack, while others were wounded.
As part of the operation in Tulkarem, which was still ongoing at time of print, forces had questioned dozens of suspects and arrested seven, in addition to uncovering numerous roadside bombs hidden throughout the city’s refugee camp, the IDF said.
As Israel battles Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the country’s Judea, Samaria and Jordan Valley regions are experiencing a parallel rise in terror incidents, according to data published by Rescuers Without Borders (Hatzalah Judea and Samaria) on Tuesday.
Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 15, Rescuers Without Borders first responders recorded more than 2,600 attacks targeting Israeli civilians and soldiers, including 760 cases of rock-throwing, 551 fire bombings, 12 attempted or successful stabbings and nine vehicular assaults.
Among the report’s findings was a sharp increase in the number of shootings, with 127 instances of gunfire reported over the past three months. By comparison, in all of 2022, Hatzalah recorded just under 100 shooting attacks.
The organization’s figures do not include the hundreds of violent attacks on security personnel occurring during counterterrorism operations in villages under the control of the P.A.
Since the beginning of Israel’s war with Hamas on Oct. 7, Israeli forces have arrested more than 2,700 wanted Palestinians throughout Judea and Samaria, at least 1,300 of whom are affiliated with the terrorist group.
Overnight Tuesday, in an operation by the IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), a drone strike near Nablus’s Balata camp killed three members of a cell allegedly planning a “large, imminent attack” in an Israeli city.
A statement named the head of the cell as Abdullah Abu Shalal and identified him as the leader of “one of the main terror networks” in Judea and Samaria. Abu Shalal allegedly received funds and instructions from Iran, as well as Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and overseas.
Also overnight Tuesday, IDF troops operating in Bani Naim near Hebron in Judea mapped out the homes of the two Palestinian terrorists who carried out a combined car-ramming and stabbing attack in the central city of Ra’anana earlier this week.
One victim of the attack, a 79-year-old woman identified as Edna Blustein, was declared dead at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba on Monday. Sixteen other victims remain hospitalized, including four in serious condition.