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Police officer lightly hurt in Jordan Valley shooting; Palestinian gunman killed

Officials say assailant opened fire at troops conducting searches near West Bank’s Argaman junction, following earlier criminal-related shooting there

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A Border Police officer was lightly hurt during an exchange of fire with a Palestinian gunman in the Jordan Valley on Tuesday afternoon, the military and police said.

According to a Border Police spokesman, members of the Matilan counterterrorism unit were conducting searches near the Argaman junction, close to the West Bank settlement of the same name, in the northern Jordan Valley, when they came under fire.

The Palestinian gunman was shot dead, and one officer was lightly hurt in the exchange.

The Israel Defense Forces said the forces had been searching for a Palestinian suspect involved in a criminal-related shooting at the same junction several hours earlier.

In the earlier incident, the suspect opened fire with a handgun near a rest stop at the junction, apparently over a dispute with another Palestinian who worked in the area. He then fled the scene, prompting the military’s searches.

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The IDF said troops were continuing to search for additional suspects following the second incident of gunfire.

This handout image shows a handgun used by a Palestinian assailant who attacked Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley, September 5, 2023. (Israel Police)

It was unclear if the gunman killed by Border Police troops was the same suspect who opened fire in the same incident.

Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank since the beginning of the year have left 27 civilians and three soldiers dead, and several others seriously wounded.

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 180 West Bank Palestinians have been killed during the same period — the vast majority of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including by armed Israeli settlers.