Israeli Army Officer Killed in Firefight at West Bank Fence
An Israeli army officer was killed when a gunfight erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen near Jenin early Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed.
Major Bar Pelach, deputy patrol commander of the Nahal Brigade, was identified by the IDF as the soldier killed. The 30-year-old officer was from Netanya.
“Sadly last night we lost a Major in the IDF, operating against Palestinian terrorists with commanders in the front. I convey my deepest, deepest condolences to the family and his girlfriend, we will embrace them and hug them,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said.
The IDF said that two suspects were observed near the village of Jalama along the West Bank security fence.
As soldiers arrived on the scene to start arrest procedures, the suspects opened fire.
The soldiers returned fire and hit the two, killing them.
One of the terrorists was a member of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, according to Palestinian reports. The IDF later confirmed that one of the terrorists was a member of the PA security forces.
Fatah and its military wing the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades issued an official statement calling the two Palestinians who opened fire on the Jalameh crossing “sons of the organization who were killed in a high-quality act of heroism.”
Frequent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces operating in the Jenin area have been ongoing for months, with Israel’s arrest of a local Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in August leading to a brief cycle of cross-border violence between the IDF and Gaza militants.
A security briefing was held on Sunday morning ahead of the Jewish High Holidays that included Prime Minister Yair Lapid, in which it was revealed that there were about 70 “concrete warnings” of possible terrorist attacks during the holidays.