3 Israelis wounded in West Bank shooting ambush

JERUSALEM (AP) — Gunmen in a passing car opened fire at Israelis standing at a major intersection in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Sunday, injuring three of them, according to rescue officials and the military.

The assailants escaped in a car with Palestinian license plates, news reports said. The military said troops fired towards the car. Security forces immediately launched a search for the attackers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack at Tapuah junction in the central West Bank. The Magen David Adom emergency service said two of the injured were in serious condition, and a third person was lightly hurt. The emergency service said the three injured people were in their 20s.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there would be a harsh response. “We will not allow terrorism to raise its head and we will strike our enemies with force,” he said.

It was the latest violent incident in the West Bank amid ongoing friction between a growing population of Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents. Meanwhile, prospects for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians remain dim.

Earlier Sunday, soldiers shot a 60-year-old Palestinian woman who brandished a knife and advanced toward them despite warnings to stop. The incident took place at a major junction in the southern West Bank.

She later died of her wounds at an Israeli hospital, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The Haaretz newspaper quoted the woman’s brother as saying her mental health had deteriorated and she had tried to take her own life after losing her job in a beauty salon as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

In recent years, Palestinians have carried out a series of shooting and car-ramming attacks, most of them attributed to so-called “lone wolf” assailants.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — territories Israel also captured in the 1967 Mideast war — for a future state.