hawara checkpoint idf 224 88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
A terror attack was thwarted in the West Bank on Monday after IDF troops shot and killed a Palestinian gunman inside a car near the settlement of Beit Yatir in the Southern Hebron Hills.
The IDF said that the troops shot the Palestinian after he opened fire on an army checkpoint. No troops were wounded in the exchange of fire.
Following the incident, Border Police sappers checked the car to ensure that it was not booby-trapped with explosives.
OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni praised the soldiers' quick action and said that it prevented a large-scale terror attack. The gunman had fired an entire magazine with his Kalashnikov rifle and was also carrying a loaded pistol and a knife.
The IDF estimated that the gunman had initially planned to perpetrate his attack in a different area but when he was spotted by soldiers he decided to open fire.
The road on which the checkpoint was located was the same route used by the terrorist who carried out an attack in Dimona last year, the sources told Israel Radio.
Relatives of the dead Palestinian, identified as 27-year-old Taysir Manasra, said he worked as an illegal peddler in Israel and was not connected to terrorists.
Sources in the Central Command said that the IDF had been on high alert throughout the West Bank since the beginning of last month's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip The shooting on Monday followed a series of attacks over the weekend, including a shooting attack against a bus near the settlement of Ofra in the West Bank.
Two weeks ago, an Israeli man was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting near the settlement of Kochav Hashahar.