Israeli soldier killed in car ramming attack by Palestinian

Al-Jazeera  /  August 31, 2023

A Palestinian truck driver, 41, rammed his vehicle into Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint and was later ‘neutralized’.

One Israeli soldier has been killed and two others injured in a ramming attack by a Palestinian truck driver at a checkpoint between Israel and the occupied West Bank, Israeli police and medical officials said.

The ramming happened at the Maccabim checkpoint, known to Palestinians as Beit Sira, on Thursday, and the driver left the scene immediately, only to be stopped at another checkpoint about six kilometres (four miles) away where he was shot and died, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

According to a statement from the Israeli army, the driver was “neutralized”.

In a separate statement, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant offered his condolences to the family of the soldier killed and praised the security forces “for their determined action” in killing the attacker.

An Israeli police commander described the driver as a 41-year-old Palestinian who had a permit to work in Israel.

Video circulating on social media showed a white truck surrounded by security guards at the second checkpoint as gunshots rang out.

The checkpoint where the truck rammed the soldiers is on a major highway leading from central Israel through the occupied West Bank and into Jerusalem and is next to the Israeli city of Modiin. The checkpoint is typically packed with commuters and security guards or soldiers.

The incident comes a day after a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer after stabbing and wounding an Israeli settler in a light-rail station in occupied East Jerusalem.

Overnight on Thursday, four Israeli soldiers were wounded by an explosive device as they patrolled and escorted Jewish settlers to Joseph’s Tomb in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, a point of confrontation that has regularly witnessed protests by Palestinians.

Israel has intensified its near-nightly raids in the occupied West Bank since early last year, and attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian towns and villages have increased.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since the start of 2023, in what the United Nations said is the deadliest year for Palestinians since it began documenting fatalities in 2006.

At least 30 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks in the same period.



Palestinian trucker kills Israeli soldier in ramming, is shot dead

Ammar Awad

Reuters  /  August 31, 2023

NILIN, West Bank – A Palestinian truck driver killed an Israeli soldier in a ramming attack near a checkpoint on the boundary with the occupied West Bank on Thursday, and was shot dead during an ensuing pursuit, Israeli military and medical officials said.

The incident came hours after Palestinians wounded four Israeli soldiers in a roadside bombing in the West Bank, which has seen spiraling violence in recent months amid an almost decade-long deadlock in U.S.-sponsored peacemaking efforts.

The truck driver, a 41-year-old Palestinian with a permit to work in Israel, ran down a group of off-duty soldiers on the Israeli side of Maccabim checkpoint, killing one and injuring three others along with a roadside vendor, the military said.

Security forces pursued the driver into the West Bank, shooting him near the Palestinian village of Nilin, Israeli police said.

The Islamist militant group Hamas, which has stepped up attacks in the West Bank in a challenge to Israel and the internationally backed Palestinian Authority (PA), lauded the attack but stopped short of taking credit for it.

The West Bank is among areas where Palestinians seek statehood, a prospect ruled out by Israel’s rightist government, which promotes Jewish settlement of the territory. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are split between the PA and Iranian-backed factions like Hamas that reject coexistence with Israel.

Overnight, the Islamic Jihad faction said it set off a roadside bomb against Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus. The military said four soldiers were wounded as they secured Jewish pilgrims visiting the biblical Joseph’s Tomb.

Medics said around 30 Palestinians were injured, one by live fire, another by a rubber bullet and the rest from tear gas used by Israeli forces in Nablus.

Writing by Dan Williams and Nidal al-Mughrabi; editing by Alex Richardson and Mark Heinrich