Soldier lightly injured in Palestinian fire at settler rally by Nablus

This was the second shooting attack reported in the area on Sunday.

 SAMARIA COUNCIL head Yossi Dagan and children shield behind a vehicle after Palestinians opened fire near Nablus.  (photo credit: Ido Ze'evi)
SAMARIA COUNCIL head Yossi Dagan and children shield behind a vehicle after Palestinians opened fire near Nablus.
(photo credit: Ido Ze'evi)

Palestinians fired volleys of shots at a settler rally Sunday evening on the outskirts of Nablus, lightly injuring an IDF soldier in the leg.

Other soldiers immediately returned fire and are in pursuit of the shooters.

The rally had been held to protest a shooting incident in the Samaria region of the West Bank earlier in the day and to call on the government to halt the increase in such attacks.

The firing came from one of the nearby Palestinian villages just as the rally ended.

Activists were immediately commanded to lie on the ground.

 Armed men attend the funeral of Abdul Rahman Khazem, a Palestinian gunman and another man Muhammad Abu Naasa, who were killed by Israeli forces in a raid, in Jenin in the West Bank, September 28, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA) Armed men attend the funeral of Abdul Rahman Khazem, a Palestinian gunman and another man Muhammad Abu Naasa, who were killed by Israeli forces in a raid, in Jenin in the West Bank, September 28, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA)

"Get down, get down," people screamed.

Video footage from the incident showed settlers and right-wing activists ducking behind cars. In one dramatic shot, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan can be seen with his pistol drawn, defending a group of children.

"These attacks have become an everyday thing and the political echelon and the Defense Ministry have abandoned our security," said Shlomo Ne'eman, who heads both the Yesha Council and the Gush Etzion Regional Council.

The Yesha Council plans to hold an emergency meeting outside of Defense Minister Benny Gantz's home in Rosh HaAyin.

"These attacks have become an everyday thing and the political echelon and the Ministry of Defense have abandoned our security."

Shlomo Neeman

At the rally, held Sunday evening at the traffic junction outside of Nablus, Dagan echoed Ne'eman in declaring that the government had abandoned security for residents of Judea and Samaria.

"We are telling the government in the clearest way possible that you have failed, you have abandoned all the citizens of Israel," he said.

Dagan called on the IDF to embark on a larger-scale operation to halt Palestinian terror than the one it has been engaged in since Mach 31, called Operation Breaking the Wave.

The Samaria Regional Council head said that the IDF needed to revive the 2002 operation called Defensive Shield, which was its response to the Second Intifada.

"We demand that the government launch Operation Defensive Shield 2 now," he stated emphatically. 

IDF cannot logistically continue West Bank operations

Dagan spoke on the same day that the state comptroller issued a report explaining that the IDF lacked the resources to continue with Operation Break the Wave.

The report did not prevent Dagan from stating that it was only politics that prevented the IDF from taking action, particularly against the Palestinian Authority.

"This will not end here," he said, as he warned of future Palestinian terror attacks against Tel Aviv

The day of violence in Samaria began shortly  after 7, a.m., when Palestinians shot at a school bus and a cab for special needs pupils in the Samaria region, damaging both vehicles and lightly injuring the cab driver.

The vehicles were on their morning run to get the children but were empty at the time of the attack.

The cab driver Shimon Sebag said that a terror attack was the last thing on his mind when he left the Elon Moreh settlement at around 7:05 to pick up pupils from the nearby Tapuach settlement when he heard a loud bang.

"At first I thought I had a flat tire, but then after a minute I realized that they [Palestinians] were shooting at me," Sebag said in a statement he released to the media.

"I put my foot on the accelerator" and drove fast, Sebag said adding that at that same moment felt something hit his shoulder, which he imagined was a bullet.

It turned out that the bullet had grazed his shoulder, but he didn't know it at the time. Luckily, he was able to drive alongside the school bus, which is a protected vehicle and that shielded him from additional gunfire, he said.

Dagan said after the attack that "It is difficult to imagine the magnitude of the disaster that could have been caused" had children been in the vehicles, Dagan said. 

"Only a miracle prevented a much more serious event," he added. 

There has been an increase in attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, Dagan said. "Unfortunately, the government refuses to acknowledge this harsh reality and ignores the cries of the residents who fear for their lives," he stated.

To date this year, 18 citizens have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks.