Soldiers gun down Palestinian after rams into West Bank base with bulldozer
Palestinian tries to run over soldier before smashing through fence surrounding army base north of Jerusalem.
One soldier was lightly wounded by a piece of the shattered fence.
The Palestinian apparently planned to commit an attack inside the A-Ram base by running over anyone who happened to cross his path, a senior officer said in a briefing for reporters on Thursday night.
The incident began at about 7 P.M., when the bulldozer approached the guard post at the entrance to the base, located near the West Bank town of Qalandiyah, and sat there for several minutes without moving. A soldier went out to ask the driver what was going on, and when he drew near, the Palestinian suddenly revved the engine and tried to run him over.
The soldier fled back toward the guard post, but the bulldozer turned around and followed, making several more attempts to hit him. He was saved by a concrete pillar that blocked the vehicle’s path.
The driver then rammed the bulldozer into the guard post, shattering the fence around it; a piece of the fence lightly wounded the soldier in the leg.
After a few more attempts to hit the soldier, the driver abandoned the effort and headed into the base. Once inside, he began ramming parked army vehicles.
“When he saw he wasn’t managing to run over the soldier, he raced into the base and hit one vehicle, sending it flying with great force toward one of the buildings, then reversed and smashed into another vehicle,” the officer said.
At that point, two soldiers opened fire at the Palestinian, killing him. By then, he was already 150 meters inside the base.
The officer said he wasn’t stopped earlier because the piece of fence that slammed into the first soldier made him drop both his rifle and his radio, enabling the terrorist to race by him unopposed. However, the officer added, other soldiers stopped him within minutes.
The soldiers initially feared he might be a suicide bomber, but no explosives or other weapons were found on him.
The army declined to disclose any details about the assailant beyond the fact that he lived in a village near the base.
The officer said the various attacks that have taken place recently are unconnected, but together, they produce “an atmosphere that creates motivation for committing attacks.”
“It’s hard for me to put a finger on one factor that could constitute an explanation for this string of incidents,” he added.
The past month’s incidents include the murder of Col. (res.) Seraiah Ofer outside his Jordan Valley home; a shooting attack on a 9-year-old who was standing on the balcony of her house in the settlement of Psagot; the murder of Staff Sgt. Gal (Gabriel) Kobi while on duty at a Hebron checkpoint, apparently by sniper fire; and the murder of Sgt. Tomer Hazan by a Palestinian co-worker at the restaurant where he had a part-time job, who told investigators he had planned to trade Hazan’s body for the release of his brother, who is in an Israeli prison.