Israel on high alert as Palestinian violence escalates ahead of Rosh Hashanah

Palestinian shot dead after ramming attack, and while no soldier was injured, a police officer was slightly injured.

 Israeli security forces at the scene of a suspected ramming attack against a group of soldiers patrolling near West Bank city of Nablus, on September 24, 2022 (photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)
Israeli security forces at the scene of a suspected ramming attack against a group of soldiers patrolling near West Bank city of Nablus, on September 24, 2022
(photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Heading into Rosh Hashanah and the holiday season, the IDF and police are on high alert due to a rise in shooting attacks by Palestinian gunmen against the IDF and Israeli civilians.

 On Saturday, a Palestinian man was shot dead after ramming his car into a police vehicle in the northern West Bank, near Nablus. According to the IDF, troops and police “identified a suspicious vehicle that accelerated toward them and tried to run them over” near the settlement of Havat Gilad.

“An IDF soldier opened fire at the vehicle. The terrorist was neutralized,” the military added.

While no soldier was injured, a police officer was slightly injured.

The Palestinian Authority identified the driver as Muhammad Ali Hussein Awad, 36, from the West Bank town of Beit Ijza near Jerusalem.

 Scene of stabbing attack near Modi'in, September 22, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE) Scene of stabbing attack near Modi'in, September 22, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

“The Israeli police deliberately shot Awad, with the aim of killing him, after his vehicle collided with a police vehicle in a traffic accident,” a PA spokesman said, accusing Israel of killing a “defenseless Palestinian” who was not “posing any danger.”

To counter the terror wave, the Israeli military has intensified its arrest raids against Palestinians suspected of terrorism as part of Operation Break the Wave.

IDF and Shin Bet apprehend terrorists

On Friday, the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced that they had solved a series of shooting attacks in the West Bank and arrested a number of Palestinians belonging to a cell directed by Hamas.

In one attack on September 9, an Israeli man was lightly injured after shots were fired at his vehicle as he drove by the Palestinian village of Einabus near Nablus.

The cell fired 11 bullets at two Israeli vehicles from a passing car, the Shin Bet said in a statement.

“The investigation of the suspects is still underway, but from all the information we have, a Hamas military squad, directed by Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip, is responsible for carrying out the attack.”

Shin Bet

“The investigation of the suspects is still underway, but from all the information we have, a Hamas military squad, directed by Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip, is responsible for carrying out the attack.”

The agency confiscated the weapons used in the attacks, along with ammunition.

“The Shin Bet, along with the IDF and Israel Police, will continue to work to thwart attempts by Hamas to promote terror activity against Israel and will make them pay a price for their [terror] infrastructure,” the statement said.

Security forces also arrested a Palestinian teenager who carried out a shooting attack against the settlement of Carmel in the south Hebron hills on September 15. An Israeli teenager studying at a yeshiva in the settlement was moderately wounded in the attack.

According to the IDF, security forces located the M-16 rifle used in the attack the next day. The teenager, from the town of a-Zubaidat who confessed to the attack, was arrested last Saturday near the Palestinian village of Um Daraj, two days after the attack.

Data released by the Shin Bet showed there were at least 23 shooting attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in August, up from 15 in July.

At least 15 Israeli civilians and security personnel were wounded during the August attacks, prompting deployment of an extra battalion of Golani forces to the area.

Additional battalions will be sent to other parts of the West Bank during the holidays to prevent attacks.

Security forces have increased their level of alertness due to the increased violence. There have been close to 10 attacks this past week, with at least two shooting attacks in the northern West Bank early Thursday morning near the settlement of Har Bracha. Another shooting attack against the settlement took place early Friday morning, damaging a home.

As security forces increase their alert level, an extra battalion of Golani forces will be immediately deployed to the northern West Bank in the face of a rise in shooting attacks in the area by Palestinian gunmen.

Additional battalions will be sent to other parts of the West Bank during the holidays to prevent attacks.