Three Israeli Soldiers Wounded in Shooting Attack Near West Bank Settlement

Palestinian assailant, reported to be a Palestinian security official, shot and killed at the scene.

The scene of the West Bank shooting attack, October 31, 2016.
The scene of the West Bank shooting attack, October 31, 2016. Magen David Adom emergency responders

Three Israeli soldiers were wounded, one moderately and two lightly, in a shooting attack at a checkpoint close to the West Bank settlement of Beit El on Monday. 

The Palestinian assailant, armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, was shot and killed at the scene. The Shin Bet security service identified the assailant as Mohammad Turkamen, a 25-year-old from Kabatia, who worked as a security guard for a government office. Palestinian media reported that he was a Palestinian police officer.

Palestinian intelligence sources said they were investigating whether Turkamen may have carried out the attack as revenge after Palestinian security agents searched his house on Monday, suspecting he may be concealing weapons and ammunition that he did not need for his police work.

Turkamen's family told him about the search while he was at work in Ramallah, and perhaps out of anger or frustration he decided to carry out an attack in response, the sources said.

Acquaintances of Turkamen's said he worked as a security officer in Mahmoud Abbas' presidential guard and that he would visit home every weekend. Mosques in Kabatia announced his death over their speakers Monday evening, calling him a hero in the Palestinian's national struggle.

A Palestinian security spokesman, Adnan al-Damiri, told Haaretz that they had no accurate or reliable information regarding the incident. "At the moment everything we're hearing is from Israeli sources," he said. "We haven't received an official report. The body and the weapon are still being held by Israel."

According to al-Damiri, "As soon as we get official information we'll open an investigation and consider the circumstances of the incident."

Turkamen's family said that his brother was killed in 2011 in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the area of Katabia. The father said that the family has no information regarding the circumstances of the attack and that no official Palestinian sources have contacted them.

The moderately wounded soldier, 20, was taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Mt. Scopus, following the attack and the two lightlywounded soldiers were taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem.

On Sunday, three Israeli Border Police officers were wounded in a car-ramming attack near Hebron. The Palestinian driver was shot dead at the scene.