Israeli security forces were in pursuit of two men suspected of carrying out an alleged terror attack on Thursday, killing at least three and injuring four others in the Haredi city of Elad.
Police set up roadblocks and was searching vehicles, in an attempt to prevent the terrorists from crossing into the West Bank areas under control of the Palestinian Authorities.
Three people were killed and at least four others injured, two of them critically, when two men carrying hatchets and knives attacked passers by.
The IDF extended the closure on the West Bank, put in place during Memorial Day and Independence Day - Until Sunday.
Elad is situated on the border with the West Bank and is some three kilometers (under 2 miles) from PA controlled areas.
According to witnesses, one of the assailants fled in a car and the second was seen fleeing on foot.
The Shin Bet was also involved in the searches, but the identity of the terrorists remained unknown.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will hold a security consultation later on Thursday night. Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and other military commanders following the attack.
The Hamas terror group issued a statement praising the attack.
"The operation was the fulfilment of a promise that Al Aqsa is a red line and that the Palestinian people will continue the struggle against any aggression, by any means, regardless of the cost," the organization said.
Earlier in the week, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, in a speech in Gaza, called on Palestinians to take up arms and launch attacks against Israel in order to protect the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
"Our people should take a gun, a knife or a hatchet," Sinwar said. "If they want a religious war, they've crossed the lines," he said.
Palestinians in Gaza handed out sweets to passers by in celebration of the deadly attack.
First published: 22:52, 05.05.22