Israeli soldier badly wounded in West Bank shooting

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An Israeli female soldier was badly wounded on Sunday in a gun attack on a highway in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military said.

They said a gunman left a car and opened fire on vehicles at the Nabi Elias Junction on Highway 55 before fleeing.

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“Troops and an Israeli Air Force aircraft... are encircling the area and are continuing to pursue the terrorist,” the military said in a statement.

The soldier -- who the Israeli media said was aged 19 -- was “severely injured” and a civilian lightly hurt, the military added.

Violence has surged in the West Bank since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip in October.

Last week three people including a 13-year-old boy were wounded in a gun attack on a school bus and several other vehicles near the West Bank city of Jericho.

At least 459 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers in the West Bank since the war broke out, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah.

At least 17 Israeli soldiers and civilians have been killed in attacks there over the same period, say the Israeli authorities.

The war in Gaza was sparked by the Hamas attack on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

At least 33,175 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian territory in Israel’s campaign of retaliation, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

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