Palestinian security officials named the casualty as Ahmad Ibrahim Najar, a 19-year-old from the village of Burin in the West Bank.
The second Palestinian suspect was lightly wounded. A road in the region of the Yitzhar settlement was closed for traffic following the event. Paratrooper soldiers in the area initiated the operation against the attackers. The IDF noted that the soldiers were operating according to the rules of engagement.
The area between the Israeli settlement of Kedumim and the Palestinian village of Burin has been the site of dozens of rock-throwing and firebomb-hurling on Israeli vehicles traveling along the route. The IDF has intensified its operations in Samaria against the firebomb-throwers after the severe wounds inflicted to a young girl over a month and a half ago, when the vehicle she was traveling in was hit by a Molotov cocktail.
Samaria Regional Council chief Gershon Mesika praised the actions of the IDF soldier. "I want to bless the soldiers who responded appropriately to the terrorist this evening. Unfortunately, we already know what awful results occur from rocks and firebombs thrown in the name of terror."
He added: "Still, we must strengthen the soldiers which deal day-to-day with the enemy and – as we have seen tonight – do not hesitate to respond. It is important that every terrorist knows that the moment he intends to throw a rock or a Molotov cocktail towards an IDF force of Israeli citizens – his blood be on his head."
Elior Levy and Itay Blumenthal contributed to this report.