Palestinian gunmen fire on motorists in West Bank, killing 1, injuring 5: Israel

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Three Palestinian gunmen killed one person and wounded eight more on Thursday when they opened fire at motorists near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank.

Police say a combination of officers and civilians at the scene, located near the Israeli city of Maale Adumim, returned fire at the gunmen immediately, killing two and wounding the third. Israeli police minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called for Israel to create even more roadblocks in the West Bank in reaction to the shooting.

Images from the the terrorist attack show multiple damaged vehicles as shocked motorists scrambled to get out of the way of the gunmen.

Israeli officials identified the terrorists as 31-year-old Kadam Zuahara of Bethlehem, his 26-year-old brother Muhammad, and 31-year-old Ahmed Alohash. All are from Bethlehem. Police said they were armed with assault rifles and Carlo rifles. One of the terrorists was also carrying a grenade.

Hamas praised the attack, according to Reuters, calling it a ‘natural response’ to the ongoing war between the terrorist group and Israel that began with the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7 that killed at least 1,200 Israelis and included the abduction of hundreds more.

The incident comes as tensions in the West Bank continue to spike. Israel’s campaign against Hamas in Gaza continues, and the IDF has conducted dozens of raids into the West Bank, capturing alleged terrorists and dismantling bomb-making facilities.

At least one U.S. teen was killed in the West Bank last month, with an Israeli settler allegedly responsible. As a result, President Biden’s administration issued sanctions on Israeli settlers in the region.

A White House announcement of the executive order stated that ‘extremist settler violence’ reached record levels in the West Bank in 2023. The sanctions banned dozens of settlers and their families from traveling to or conducting business in the U.S.

‘The United States has consistently opposed actions that undermine stability in the West Bank, including attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, and Palestinian attacks against Israelis,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement at the time.

Last week, a Palestinian shot and killed two people and wounded four in an attack at a southern Israeli bus stop before a civilian shot and killed the attacker. Hamas praised that incident as well.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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