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Palestinian Authority/Gaza, March 25, 2023

IDF: Two soldiers wounded in shooting in West Bank town of Huwara

Original source

The Times of Israel

Two Israeli soldiers were wounded in a drive-by shooting attack in the northern West Bank town of Huwara on Saturday, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the two soldiers were hit by gunfire while securing the Route 60 highway in the town, south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

It was the third shooting attack to occur in Huwara in recent weeks.

The two men were taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah by military medics.

One of the soldiers was listed in serious condition, while the other suffered moderate injuries, the IDF said. Beilinson said they were both stable and not in a life-threatening condition. Their families had been notified.

The suspected attacker fled the scene by car.

The IDF in a statement said troops were closing several roads in the area near Nablus amid a manhunt for the gunman. Palestinians entering and exiting Nablus were being questioned, the IDF said.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was to hold an assessment with top military and defense officials later Saturday, his office said.

On Sunday, an Israeli man was shot and badly wounded in a terror attack while driving through Huwara. That attack came exactly three weeks after two Israeli brothers were shot dead in a terror attack while driving through Huwara.

David Stern, who was wounded in the March 19 attack, has since mostly recovered.

In the wake of the February 26 attack, settlers staged a riot in the town, setting fire to homes and cars. One Palestinian was shot dead in unclear circumstances.

Huwara has long been a flashpoint in the West Bank as it is just about the only Palestinian town that Israelis regularly travel through in order to reach settlements.

There are plans to build a bypass road for settlers to avoid having to travel through Huwara, but the construction work has been stalled.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been high for the past year, with the IDF conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks. Those tensions have ramped up even further in recent weeks, which saw a cycle of deadly Israeli raids and Palestinian attacks, as well as an uptick in settler violence.

Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent months have left 15 Israelis dead and several more seriously hurt.

At least 86 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.