Jerusalem, Jun 21 (IANS): Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a gas station near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, killing at least four and injuring four others, Israeli military said.
The military said on Tuesday in a statement that two Palestinian men armed with M16 rifles arrived by car at a gas station adjacent to the settlement of Eli and opened fire on civilians who were sitting at a restaurant there.
One of the gunmen was shot and killed by a civilian at the scene. The other fled, prompting a manhunt. As part of the pursuit, "blockages have been set up in the area," the army said.
The Homefront Command issued a statement requiring the residents of Eli to stay indoors and lock doors and windows, Xinhua news agency reported.
"No exits allowed until the conclusion of the event (the manhunt). Driving in and out of the area is forbidden until further notice," it said.
Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service said in a statement that four deaths were declared at the scene, while the four injured, one with critical injuries, two moderate and the other slight, needed hospital care.
Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported that the killed gunman was identified as Muhand Shada, a 25-year-old resident of the village of Urif near the West Bank city of Nablus and a member of Hamas, the ruling Islamist movement of the Palestinian enclave Gaza Strip.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant's office said in a statement "an operational situation assessment" meeting will be convened in the evening with the Army Chief-of-Staff, the director of the Shin Bet internal security service and additional senior officials. The meeting will take place amid growing calls in the far-right government for launching a large-scale military campaign in the West Bank.
The attack came a day after Israeli forces, supported by a rare use of attack helicopters, killed six Palestinians, including a 15-year-old teenager, and injured at least 90 others, in an hour-long gunbattle in Jenin in the northern West Bank.