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terror attack

Armed terrorist killed by IDF helicopter after 5-hour gun battle, 7 Israelis wounded

Terrorist used prepared fire positions and was equipped with sniper rifle

IDF soldiers searching a Palestinian terrorist in Samaria on March 22, 2024. (Photo: IDF)

A Palestinian terrorist shot and wounded three Israelis near the town of Dolev in Samaria on Friday morning, before being struck and killed by an IDF helicopter after a five-hour-long gun battle, Israeli media reported.

The incident began when the terrorist, Mujahed Mansour, opened fire at an Israeli minibus traveling near the Parsa junction, close to the town of Dolev.

Mansour fled the scene causing large IDF forces to begin a manhunt. The commander of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division and other senior officers arrived on the scene to lead the search for Mansour.

Israel launched a helicopter gunship and several drones to assist the ground forces after Mansour hid in thick undergrowth in a hilly area and opened fire at the pursuing forces.

During the manhunt, seven Israelis sustained injuries; one was reported in critical condition, two were seriously hurt and the remaining four suffered minor injuries.

After five hours of fire exchanges and several rockets launched by helicopter, the IDF announced that Mansour had been eliminated.

The unusual length of the hunt for a single terrorist received much attention in the Israeli press on Friday.

Some hours after the incident, Army Radio reported that Mansour had thoroughly prepared for the attack, by using a sniper rifle with an optical sight and building hidden firing positions on a hillside overlooking the junction.

He hid himself there during the night before the attack, and after opening fire on the minibus, kept moving between the prepared positions while using the thick undergrowth to hide himself.

Mansour was finally located by the Duvdevan commando unit, who directed the helicopter fire that killed him.

Mansour was 32 years old and a resident of the nearby village Dayr Ibzi’, Israeli media reported. In the past had worked in the presidential guard of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.

He later spent some time in an Israeli jail as a security prisoner belonging to the Fatah party, which is led by the PA leader Abbas.

The Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva later issued an update that it had received the three seriously injured victims, and managed to stabilize them.

“At first one of them arrived in serious condition, we managed to stabilize his condition in the trauma room. At the moment there is no danger to their lives,” the hospital stated.

In response to the terror attack, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Transportation Minister Miri Regev announced they would support the immediate construction of a road connecting the block of settlements in Gush Talmonim, to which Dolev belongs, to Route 443.

The proposed road would provide Jewish residents in the area an alternative exit to reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv without traveling through areas with security risks.

“This will strengthen the settlement and its security. They will continue to try and weaken us. Our Zionist answer will be to continue to strengthen our rightful hold over all parts of the country,” Smotrich and Regev said in a joint statement.

In a post on 𝕏, Smotrich pointed to Mansour's affiliation with the Palestinian Authority to criticize any plans to let the PA government take over the Gaza Strip after the war.

"The Nazis in Gaza and Judea and Samaria are the same. Those who cultivate false hopes in the Palestinian Authority will bring upon us the massacre of October 7 in the cities and settlements in the center of the country. As we were warned in the security cabinet, [PA President] Abu Mazen is not the solution, he is part of the problem," Smotrich wrote.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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