A Palestinian gunman shot and killed an Israeli near a settlement in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, emergency services said, an attack the Hamas militant group said it carried out in response to a two-day raid this week in Jenin.
The Israeli military said the gunman fired at security forces who had stopped to inspect his vehicle, which they found suspicious, near the Kdumim settlement adjacent to the Palestinian city Nablus.
He then fled the scene before he was tracked down and “neutralized,” the military said.
Video on social media appeared to show several soldiers opening fire in foothills near a settlement. Reuters could not immediately verify the footage, which was filmed from a moving vehicle.
Hamas claimed the gunman as a member and confirmed his death.
“The heroic operation comes as a quick response to the occupation’s aggression against our people in Jenin camp,” Hamas’s armed wing Izzeldeen Al-Qassam Brigades said.
Israel’s two-day operation in nearby Jenin was its biggest in the West Bank in years.
The Israeli military said it targeted infrastructure and weapons depots of militants. At least 12 Palestinians, most confirmed as militant fighters, and one Israeli soldier were killed.
The incursion, which began with drone strikes on Monday, followed by a sweep involving more than 1,000 Israeli troops, left a trail of wrecked streets and burned-out cars and sparked fury across the Arab world.
Israeli Settler leaders, who have strong representation in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nationalist-religious government, have called on authorities to crack down further on Palestinian militants in the area.
“The operation in Jenin was great but it is a drop in the ocean. We need to be inside those cities -inside Jenin, inside Nablus day and night. There are so many gunmen, so many militants there,” said Kdumim resident Ozel Vatik.
Violence in the West Bank has escalated over the past 15 months, with increased Israeli raids, Palestinian street attacks and settler rampages in Palestinian villages.
U.S.-brokered peace talks, aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, collapsed in 2014 and show no sign of revival.