The incident occurred just days after the Israeli army killed two Palestinians during raids in the occupied West Bank.
On Sunday, military authorities and medics said that at least five Israeli soldiers and a driver were wounded in a shooting on a bus they were traveling in in the occupied West Bank.
The incident, in which the Israeli authorities said two suspected gunmen were trying to escape, occurred within driving distance of Jenin and Nablus. Palestinian cities that witnessed months of intense and deadly Israeli military raids.
Witnesses said that Palestinians in a car overtook the bus and sprayed it with bullets, and when it stopped, they tried to set it on fire. Israeli television broadcast footage of a burning car after a petrol bomb exploded inside.
However, no Palestinian party has claimed responsibility for the incident.
A Hamas spokesman praised the attack, describing it as “evidence of the failure of all attempts by the occupation (Israel) to stop the escalation of resistance operations in the West Bank.”
The road on which the accident occurred is littered with Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages and towns.
Israel occupies the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and has built more than 200 settlements, home to more than half a million settlers. Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law. Settlement expansion is also an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, who seek the area to be part of their future state.
Matti Carmi, of Magen David Adom Emergency Medical Services, said “two gunshot victims” were treated outside the bus. The two were conscious and were flown to a hospital in the Israeli coastal city of Haifa.
Magen David Adom said three others were wounded by shards of glass and taken by road to another hospital in northern Israel.
A photo published by a union representing bus drivers showed that the windshield of the car was riddled with bullet holes.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Israeli forces “immediately chased the suspects in the attack and got their hands on it.”
Sunday’s incident follows a shooting last month on an Israeli bus in occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and later annexed, in a move not recognized by the international community.
Eight people, including several US citizens, were wounded in the pre-dawn attack near the Old City of Jerusalem.
After a chase that lasted for hours, police said the suspect turned himself in.
The incident comes just days after two Palestinian men were killed by the Israeli army during two separate raids in the West Bank – one in Al-Ain refugee camp in Nablus and the other in Umm Al-Sharait, south of Ramallah and Al-Bireh.
Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians for allegedly attempting to carry out stabbing or ramming attacks. Human rights groups accuse Israeli forces of deliberately killing Palestinians even though their lives were not in danger.