Palestinian Police Officer Opens Fire Near Israeli Settlement, Wounds Three Soldiers

Palestinian assailant, who was killed at the scene, was a member of the Palestinian Authority's security services and the driver of the Ramallah district attorney general; IDF said to restrict entry of non-residents to Ramallah area.

Scene of the shooting attack outside West Bank settlement of Beit El, January 31, 2016.
Scene of the shooting attack outside West Bank settlement of Beit El, January 31, 2016. AFP

Three Israeli soldiers were wounded in a shooting attack near Beit El in the West Bank on Sunday. One of the wounded is in serious condition, another is in moderate-serious condition and the third was lightly wounded. The assailant, identified as a Palestinian police officer and the driver of the Ramallah district attorney general, was shot and killed.

On Sunday evening, Palestinian officials reported that the Israeli army has restricted the entry of non-residents to the Ramallah area. 

From the investigation into the incident, it appears that a Palestinian car arrived at the DCO checkpoint near Ramallah. An armed Palestinian exited the car and opened fire. A soldier who arrived at the scene shot the assailant and killed him.

The assailant has been identified by Israeli security officials as Amjed Abu Amar, a 34-year-old resident of Jamma'in near Nablus. According to reports in Palestinian media, Abu Amar wrote on his personal Facebook page that "There is no right to life on this land. Sadly I don’t see anything worth living for, as long as the occupation oppresses our souls and kills our brothers and sisters."

News of the shooting was received at the Magen David Adom hotline in Jerusalem shortly after 11 A.M. Paramedics, aided by IDF medical crews, delivered preliminary aid to three soldiers, all from the Givati Brigade. One was seriously wounded from a gunshot to his upper body, and he was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem. The second casualty, 31, sustained moderate to serious wounds to his limbs, and the third casualty, 20, suffered light wounds after being shot in the hand. They were both taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

Sunday's attack was the second incident in the current wave of terror that involved a member of the Palestinian Authority's security services. Two months ago, a shooting attack was carried out at the Hizma checkpoint in the West Bank in which a 47-year-old man was seriously wounded and a 20-year-old Israeli soldier was lightly wounded. The Palestinian assailant, who was shot and killed at the scene, was Mazan Hasan Ariva, an intelligence officer in the Palestinian Authority.

On Saturday evening, a 17-year-old Israeli was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. On Sunday, police detained three minors they suspect carried out the attack.