An IDF officer was killed in a fire exchange with two Palestinian gunmen near the West Bank security barrier overnight, the military said on Wednesday.
The IDF said that Israeli forces spotted two suspects approaching the security barrier near the Palestinian village of Jalameh north of Jenin.
A force that was dispatched to the scene flanked the suspects, at which point the gunmen opened fire at troops. Israeli troops returned fire and killed the assailants. One Israeli soldier was also killed in the fire exchange.
The IDF and Shin Bet are investigating whether the two belonged to the same terror cell that opened fire at a Defense Ministry engineering vehicle at the security barrier the previous day.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades — an armed Palestinian group affiliated with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction — claimed responsibility for the overnight attack and released a video of gunmen opening fire at the Jewish settlement of Har Brakha near Nablus.
The gunmen were identified by the Palestinians as Ahmed Abed and Abdul Rahman Abed from the village of Kafr Dan near Jenin. The former was also reportedly a member of the PA's security apparatus.
Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qasem that the terror group's branch in Jenin
"[The Jenin branch] continues its struggle and resistance against the Zionist occupier and draws the parameters of a new level called the protracted revolution until achieving the goals of our people," he said.
"As of today, the heroes of Jenin ignore all the empty threats of the occupation against the cities of the West Bank, and do not pay attention to the intimidation attempts using airplanes or incursions.
The martyrs of Jenin this morning are fuel to another revolution and escalation of the struggle against the occupation and this pure blood is the tax of triumph and liberation. This revolution will continue to escalate across all West Bank cities in defense of the al-Aqsa Mosque, in response to the crimes of the occupation, and on the path to liberation of the land, the people and the martyrs."
Meanwhile, senior Israeli officials on Tuesday convened a special discussion on a record number of Palestinian terror alerts in Israel ahead of the Jewish High Holy Days.
Defense officials presented Prime Minister Yair Lapid with some 70 concrete warnings about imminent attacks during the holiday season.
A senior defense official added that security forces will continue making preemptive arrests of terror suspects throughout the holiday season as opposed to previous years in which Israel tried to keep tensions on the ground in check.
Dozens of suspects have been arrested in recent weeks as the IDF continued its crackdown on Palestinian terrorist activity across the West Bank.
According to security officials, more than 240 significant terror attacks have been thwarted since the beginning of the year, including shootings, suicide bombings, bomb attacks and kidnappings.