The gunman's possessions.
The gunman's possessions. Photo by IDF Spokesperson's Unit
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A Palestinian suspected of shooting at buses in the Judea and Samaria District of the West Bank was arrested Thursday by the Israel Defense Forces.

According to authorities, an IDF soldier was riding a bus near the West Bank village of Hawara Thursday afternoon when he saw a Palestinian aiming a handgun at the bus. The suspect was about 15 meters away from the bus, the soldier reportedly told authorities.

Upon seeing the armed man, the soldier immediately summoned additional IDF personnel and they arrested the suspected gunman, authorities say. The suspect, a resident of the West Bank village of Awarta, was arrested in an olive grove near the highway and taken in for questioning.

According to authorities, he was found to be in possession of a 9-millimeter handgun, a handgun cartridge and bullets.

The IDF says the suspect had attempted to shoot the bus.

The Samaria Regional Brigade has been trying for the past three weeks to capture the person or persons responsible for firing at Israeli buses.

According to Col. Yoav Yarom, commander of the Samaria Regional Brigade, two soldiers have been regularly posted on buses traveling in the area in an effort to identify the gunman or gunmen.

“We have placed soldiers on the buses. This is their mission,” said Col. Yarom. “In our estimate, this is the same person who tried to fire at buses on previous occasions. Fortunately, we have managed to capture this gunman after he tried to fire at a bus from the same spot as in the past.”

Yarom added that the number of stone-throwing incidents in the area has gone down recently. “However,” he said, “the profile of ‘lone-wolf’ terrorists [terrorists who do not belong to a terrorist organization or cell] presents a greater challenge for us today.”