7 Palestinians, an Israeli policewoman and a motorist are killed in West Bank violence


JERUSALEM (AP) — A man driving a car with Israeli license plates was fatally shot at a busy intersection in the West Bank on Sunday, hours after a violent confrontation elsewhere in the Israeli-occupied territory left seven Palestinians and a member of Israel’s paramilitary border police dead.

The victim in the drive-by shooting was later identified as a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem. The assailants presumably mistook him for an Israeli because of the license plates. Palestinian militants have carried out scores of shooting attacks against Israelis in the West Bank over the years, and the military described Sunday’s shooting as such an incident.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said the attackers fired through the victim’s front windshield. It said paramedics arriving at the scene in the central West Bank found the man unresponsive in his car.

The Israeli army said security forces were searching the area for the shooter. Israeli media reported that security forces found an abandoned car that was likely used to carry out the attack, and the suspect fled on foot.

Hours earlier, a deadly confrontation erupted when Israeli security forces were on patrol to search for roadside bombs in Jenin, a town and adjacent refugee camp by the same name in the northern West Bank.

A roadside bomb exploded near a vehicle of the paramilitary border police, killing a policewoman and wounding three others, police said.

An Israeli military helicopter targeted Palestinians in the area who were throwing explosives at Israeli vehicles and extracted the Israeli forces, the Israeli army said. Seven Palestinians were killed in the airstrike, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Mujahhid Nazal, a doctor at nearby clinic, said he heard a “strong explosion” and rushed to the scene of the airstrike. “It was a really dire situation, seven young men were lying on the ground,” he said.

At a funeral for six of those killed in Jenin, four of the men were wrapped in the green flags of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that has been locked in a war with Israel in Gaza for the past three months. The two others were covered, respectively, by the Palestinian flag and the yellow banner of the Fatah movement, a Hamas rival.

The latest events followed a dramatic surge in deadly military raids and increase in restrictions on Palestinian residents across the West Bank during the Israel-Hamas war.

Violence against Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the territory has also reached record highs, according to the United Nations.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says Israeli forces have killed 330 Palestinians in the West Bank since Hamas’ cross-border attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7, in which 1,200 people were killed and roughly 250 were taken hostage.

Most of the Palestinians were killed during shootouts in the West Bank that the Israeli military says began during operations to arrest Palestinian gunmen.

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