An IDF soldier, St.-Sgt. Ro'i Farjun, 21, from Yehud was killed on Saturday after a Palestinian opened fire at the Bekaot checkpoint in the Jordan Valley. Troops returned fire, killing the gunman.
An initial investigation indicated that the shooter, identified as Muhammad Ban-Yuda, 22, from the village of Tamun near Jenin, arrived at the checkpoint in a car, drew his gun and shot the soldier several times from short range.
A taxi driver who was stopped nearby was arrested on suspicion of having driven the shooter to the checkpoint.
Fatah's military wing claimed responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile Friday, an elite police unit killed two wanted Palestinians in Bethlehem following a two-hour standoff. The IDF said that the two were senior Islamic Jihad operatives, armed with assault weapons and hand grenades, and were shot after resisting arrest.
Elsewhere, three dead Hamas gunmen were brought to a hospital in Jenin early Friday. A preliminary investigation indicated that an explosives belt strapped to one of the men's bodies accidentally went off, killing him and the other two men, Palestinian security officials said. The incident occurred near the village of Deir Ghazzala, they said.
The IDF has noticed an increased effort by Palestinian terror cells in the West Bank to perpetrate attacks against Israeli cities ever since war erupted with Lebanon. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the IDF have thwarted eight suicide and kidnapping attempts, some within cities after terrorists had already infiltrated into Israel.
AP contributed to this report.
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