The IDF in cooperation with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) service have arrested two Palestinians from the West Bank village of Rantis suspected of carrying out a drive-by shooting attack against an Israeli vehicle near Halamish last December 19.
According to the army, the two Palestinians shot at a car driven by an Israeli man, lightly wounding him when the gunfire shattered his window, sending glass shards to his face. That same evening soldiers found the vehicle used in the attack and impounded it.
The following night, troops from the Ephraim regional brigade, special forces, and the Shin Bet raided Rantis and arrested the two suspects, Ahmed Nadaf and Muhammad Havasa.
According to the army, the interrogation of the two suspects revealed that they were involved in the shooting attack, a botched attempt to carry out an additional shooting attack, and were responsible for throwing firebombs and rocks at Israeli vehicles in recent years.
During a later search the weapons used in the attack were found.
The two were charged on January 30 before a West Bank military with attempted manslaughter, as well as other offenses.
In another recent joint IDF and Shin Bet operation, five Palestinians from the West Bank town of Yabed, west of Jenin, were arrested on suspicion of carrying out a drive-by shooting at an army position in the northern West Bank on December 30, 2016.
The five suspects, arrested shortly after the attack, were named as Ali Muhammad Ali Amarna, Sayf al-Din Muhammad Sharif Abu Bakr, Mahmoud Awad Mohammed Harzalla, Joseph Keyes Abdullah Amarna and Muhammad Mahmoud Khaled Amarna. They were indicted in January.
According to a senior IDF officer, there were a total of 89 shooting attacks in the West Bank in 2016. Security forces believe that most of them were carried out with weapons produced in the West Bank, most commonly homemade copies of the Karl Gustav submachine gun.
The security forces have stepped up their efforts to uncover clandestine workshops producing illegal weapons, carrying out near-nightly raids in the West Bank, shutting down weapons factories and confiscating arms, greatly reducing the number of illegal explosive devices and other weapons that could end up in the hands of potential attackers.
On Sunday night, 18 suspects were arrested in the West Bank, wanted for involvement in terrorism, mass disturbances and violence to civilians and the security forces. Some are also wanted for involvement with the Hamas terrorist organization.