Palestinian terrorists opened fire on IDF forces conducting a counterterrorism operation in the Jenin and Ramallah areas in the early hours of Sunday morning, the IDF said in a statement.
The IDF said at least four terrorists were killed in what was described as a heavy exchange of fire in five different incidents in Yehudah and Shomron. The IDF confirmed that two soldiers with the Duvdevan counterterrorism unit, which specializes in undercover urban warfare, were seriously wounded. Both have been rushed to a nearby hospital.
The troops were pursuing members of a Hamas cell that has been under surveillance for several days prior to the raids taking place.
Available details suggest that the first skirmish took place in the village of Burqin, near Jenin – a known terrorist hub. IDF troops were conducting a raid, seeking to arrest a suspected terrorist when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on them.
Palestinian reports said the troops surrounded a building in Burqin when they came under fire but were able to arrest the suspect nonetheless. Another terrorists was killed in the clash.
IDF forces on a mission in the village of Beit Anan, northwest of Ramallah, came under fire as well but managed to make arrests despite the assault.
Another terrorist was apprehended in a raid in Kafr Dan, north of Jenin, without incident. Three other terrorists were killed in a clash near Mount Hadar.
Asked whether the incidents could provoke rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav said, “When it comes to Hamas we always expect rocket fire. I think it’s a possibility this time as well because the gunman killed were Hamas operatives.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that IDF troops “acted in Judea and Samaria overnight against terrorists who were planning an imminent attack. The soldiers and commanders acted as we expected them to and have our full backing.”
The incidents marked the most serious confrontations between Israel and Hamas in months and threatened to raise tensions in the territory and along the Israeli border with Gaza.