Israeli military sources reported on Friday that two Israel guards working at the Nitzanei Shalom industrial area, near the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, were shot and killed earlier on Friday by a Palestinian gunman; a third guard managed to escape unharmed.The sources added that the bodies of the two guards were found on Friday morning in a factory in the Industrial Zone.

The area where the attack took place is on a boundary strip between Israel and Tulkarem.

The Israeli intelligence services said that the attack was carried out by fighters of the Al Quds brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad.

It is believed that the guards were shot at a close range after a gunman managed to infiltrate into the Industrial Zone, military sources stated.

 Israeli online daily, Haaretz, said that the guards were most likely screening Palestinian workers when they were approached by a gunman who opened fire at them and fled the scene.

The Israeli army launched a search campaign in an attempt to locate the gunman. Soldiers also invaded nearby the Palestinian village of Irtah and initiated military searches.

The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for the attack.

In an interview with the Israeli Ynet News, a senior fighter of the Brigades said that the attack was carried out by Palestinian fighters who escaped from a Palestinian prison several days ago.

He added that the attack is a natural response to the Israeli assaults and “ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and the Brigades”. He also said that this attack is also intended to signal to the Palestinian Security Forces to stop perusing the fighters.