In a joint operation conducted by combatants from the Shaked Unit and the Armed Corps's 7th Patrol Company, a Palestinian in his 20s was arrested attempting to fire on a bus belonging to the Afikim company near the village of Huwara, south of Nablus, where a shooting incident occurred some three weeks ago.
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The arrest of the Palestinian was made possible thanks to the quick response of IDF troops, which managed to apprehend the armed Palestinian who was hiding, with his gun drawn, in a nearby olive grove.
Conficated gun (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)
The person who first noticed the lurking Palestinian and alerted the forces – which were active in the area as part of the operation – was a Givati soldier traveling on the bus.
The arrested Palestinian was caught in possession of a 9mm pistol, which was confiscated, and he was taken in by security forces for questioning.
Samaria Brigade Commander Colonel Yoav Yarom, who commanded the operation, said the IDF believed that over the past few weeks, the Palestinian perpetrated two similar attacks, in which he fired on passing buses from close range. In the two previous attacks no damages or injuries were reported.
Shell from bullets fired on bus (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)
Sources in the IDF say the man acted alone and is not affiliated with any local or regional terror groups.
"To catch him we put into motion a very large operation... including pairs of undercover soldiers sent to travel the bus, recognize him and alert forces," Col. Yoram said.
Ironically, the soldier who alerted the forces was off duty when traveling the bus. However, because he took part in the operation in the previous weeks and had traveled the route in search of the shooter, he was alert and noticed the Palestinian in time, prompting him to alert the forces.
The soldier, Hananel Nachmias, a Shaked Unit combat soldier from the moshav of Kerem Ben Zimra near Safed, said he was traveling on the bus to reach his unit's outpost when he noticed the shooter.
"Before the exit to Nablus, I saw an armed man pulling out his firearm and trying to fire on the bus I was traveling in.
In wake of the arrest, Nachmias received praises from his commanders.
Col. Yoram further noted that there has been a recent decrease in the number of local terror incidents, including a decrease in stone throwing incidents. However, an increase in gun fire attacks was also registered.
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