Palestinian gunmen shoot motorists near Israel checkpoint in West Bank killing one and injuring others

Israeli security forces examine the scene of the shooting  (AP)
Israeli security forces examine the scene of the shooting (AP)

Three Palestinians opened fire at motorists near an Israeli checkpoint in the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem on Thursday, killing one person and wounding five others, emergency services said.

Two women were seriously wounded, the head of Israel's ambulance service Eli Bean told public broadcaster Kan. Police said officers shot dead two gunmen and wounded a third. A spokesperson said the gunmen were Palestinian but gave no further details.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir is at the scene of the attack on the Route 1 highway between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.

He told journalists: “An extremely large disaster was avoided here, thanks to the police and the armed citizens”, according to the Times of Israel.

A man in his 20s was killed in the attack, the news outlet said.

The Magen David Adom Ambulance service said it treated 12 people, including the man in his 20s who was declared dead at the scene.

A pregnant woman, 23, is listed in a serious condition hospital officials said.

Doctor Alon Schwartz, head of the trauma department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, said the woman is undergoing “significant surgery” but is in a stable condition and there is no risk to her life.

Meanwhile four others were also wounded including a woman in her 30s, a man aged 23, a man aged 51, and a woman aged 52, the ambulance service

Another five people were treated for minor injuries and acute anxiety, it was reported.

Two of the attackers were killed by security forces at the scene.

The third was detained and his condition is not clear, according to local media.

Tensions in the West Bank are already high due to Israel's war in Gaza.

On Friday, two people were killed by gunmen police suspect to be Palestinian at a bus stop in southern Israel.

The Israeli offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health authorities, laid much of the enclave to waste and displaced most of its 2.3 million population.

Israel says its goal is to dismantle Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, after it burst through the Gaza border on October 7 killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostage.