Clashes Reported Between IDF Soldiers and Residents of West Bank Town Where Tapuah Junction Terrorist’s Car Found
Clashes between IDF soldiers and residents of a West Bank town were reported Monday as the manhunt continued for the terrorist behind Sunday’s drive-by shooting at Tapuah Junction that left three yeshiva students wounded, two of them seriously.
N12 reported that the clashes took place after the vehicle driven by the terrorist was found in the town of Aqraba near Nablus in the northern West Bank.
When IDF soldiers entered the village, they were met with violence from town residents, says N12, citing Palestinian media reports.
Palestinian news agency Maan reported that the terrorist’s car was found by local residents, who set the car on fire before Israeli troops arrived in eight military vehicles.
Israel’s Channel 13 reported that, concerned about further terror attacks, the IDF decided to beef up combat forces in its Judea and Samaria Division.
Visiting the scene of Sunday’s attack, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said this decision was taken “as part of (the IDF’s) readiness for escalation.”
The initial results of the ongoing investigation have led security forces to believe that the terrorist acted alone in a “lone wolf” attack, and that he fired ten bullets in total at five or more civilians waiting at the Junction.
Amichai Hala, who was lightly wounded in the attack, said to Channel 13 of the other two causalities, “I want to pray for my friends.”
“I have mixed feelings and am in shock,” he said. “I didn’t see anything. There were shots and then we fell to the ground. I heard more shots from the IDF forces.”
IDF soldiers at the scene did return fire and hit the terrorist’s vehicle, but it is believed they did not succeed in hitting the terrorist himself.
“I called MDA,” he said of the Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom, “and in the process I saw that I was also bleeding a little, so they started treating me.”
“Miraculously, I got away safely,” he added. “It could have ended differently.