Israeli soldiers prepare for a patrol just outside the Gaza Strip.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An improvised explosive device detonated next to an IDF patrol just north of the West Bank settlement of Efrat around 8:30 a.m., the army said Monday morning.
The explosion, which caused no injuries, occurred as a patrol passed near the Palestinian town of El-Khader, near Bethlehem.
According to an IDF spokeswoman, the IDF is continuing to search for the suspects behind the IED.
Since October 2015, 36 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean, a Jordanian and a Sudanese national have been killed a wave of stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks carried out by Palestinians. At least 238 Palestinians have also been killed, according to Israeli authorities, most of them while carrying out the attacks.
Many others have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Despite an overall decline in attacks in recent months, according to a monthly report by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service), there was a 30% spike in attacks since September, with 109 attacks in September and 153 attacks in October.
Israeli security forces, including the Shin Bet, the IDF and police, have increased their efforts to uncover unofficial workshops producing explosives and other illegal weapons.
Many such workshops are often found in private homes.
Last week, the IDF announced that they had arrested nine Palestinians planning future terrorist attacks against Israeli forces with explosive devices. As part of the investigation into the cell, Israeli security forces raided the facility used in the production of the explosives.
Several explosive devices and 120 kg. of raw material used in the manufacturing of the devices were seized.
Earlier in November, Palestinian security forces foiled a terror attack against the IDF, after sharing intelligence about an explosive device attached to a barrier that separates the Israeli side of Hebron from the Palestinian side.