Surprise Attack: Israeli soldier killed in shootout with Palestinians

Soldier identified as Maj. Bar Falach; one of the gunmen was a Palestinian security officer.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

An IDF soldier and two Palestinian gunmen were killed in a shootout in northern Samaria on Wednesday morning.

The soldier was identified as 30-year-old Maj. Bar Falach of Netanya, the deputy commander of an elite Nahal Reconnaissance Battalion.

Falach and other soldiers were dispatched to investigate two people who security cameras spotted acting suspiciously near the Jalamah checkpoint.

According to Hebrew reports, the Palestinians were not identified as being armed. As the soldiers began to initiate arrest procedures, both Palestinians began shooting. The soldiers took cover and returned fire.

According to the IDF, one Palestinian was armed with a makeshift “Carlo” submachine gun, the other with a semiautomatic weapon.

“The whole encounter happens a few meters from the terrorists, that at this point we didn’t know that they were armed, but they were definitely acting suspicious,” said Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Avi Bluth.

Palestinian media identified the gunmen as Ahmed Ayman Abed and Abdul Rahman Abed. Both were from the village of Kafr Dan, north of Jenin. Palestinian sources cited by Haaretz said that Ahmed worked in the Palestinian security services’ intelligence branch and had graduated from the Palestinian Authority’s police academy.

The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack and said both were members.

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Prime Minister Yair Lapid called Falach “A warrior who fought terrorism with all of his might and led his fighters until the last hour. The operational activity in which he was killed thwarted a major terror attack and saved human lives.”

The attack took place in the same area where Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Israeli engineers upgrading the security barrier on Tuesday morning.

The Jenin district has been the epicenter of a recent wave of terror attacks, led primarily by the Islamic Jihad organization.

The Israeli military has responded with an anti-terror crackdown across Judea and Samaria.

Since Operation Break the Wave was launched this spring, Israeli security forces have arrested some 2,000 suspected terrorists.

Operation Break the Wave was launched after a spate of deadly terror attacks between March-May 2022, which saw 17 Israelis and two foreign nationals killed. A number of other Palestinian terror attacks were foiled by Israeli security services during that time.