Three soldiers were wounded in a suspected hit-and-run terror attack on Thursday afternoon in the area of the West Bank settlement of Shiloh.
Two of the victims were reported to be seriously wounded, with head and internal injuries. They were evacuated to hospital by helicopter while unconscious and on respiration.The third casualty was said to be lightly wounded.
The driver of the vehicle was shot and evacuated in a serious condition. The Israeli license plate on the vehicle had been crudely connected to the vehicle, leading officials to suspect that it had replaced the original Palestinian plates.
Palestinian media outlets reported that the driver of the car is Raid Mohammed Badwan, 45, from the West Bank village of Biddu. Large military forces entered the village and were clashing with some 100 Palestinians who were hurling rocks at the soldiers. The forces responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad praised the attack. Hamas called it a "natural response to the crimes of the occupation." The Islamic Jihad said it was a response to the murder of Ali Dawabsheh, a Palestinain toddler, last week.
No official response was issued by the Palestinian Authority.
Magen David Adom reported that it had received an alert at 3:11 P.M. on Thursday that three soldiers had been injured on Highway 60, close to the village of Sinjil.
Paramedics who arrived on the scene said they saw an overturned car and three people lying in pools of blood close to it. Two of the wounded were unconscious and suffering from multiple injuries, including to the head. The third was fully conscious with limb injuries.
"We separated into teams, along with IDF medical personnel who were present, and began providing emergency treatment, including anesthesia, respiration and transfusions," the paramedics said.
Judea and Samaria division commander Brig. Lior Carmeli said that "the findings of the initial investigation have found that the military force on the scene reacted speedily and appropriately in neutralizing the terrorist."
The wounded soldiers were part of supplementary forces stationed in the West Bank following the arson attack on a Palestinian house last week in which an 18-month-old child was killed.
"I want to congratulate the soldiers who reacted quickly to neutralize the terrorist and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said shortly after the incident.
"I find it puzzling that those who were so quick to denounce terror against Palestinians are silent when the terror is aimed at Jews."
"The struggle against Palestinian terror requires steadfastness and an iron fist against the terrorists and those who send them," Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said in response to the hit-and-run attack.
"We are deploying the finest people and capabilities in order to prevent attacks on the citizens of Israel. Against terror, one fights with zero tolerance and that's exactly what we're doing," he said.
The defense minister said the attack was part of "an atmosphere of terror," perpetrated by both individuals and groups. He wished a speedy recovery to the injured and commended the soldiers on their speedy response.
"I am proud of our soldiers who reacted immediately and stopped the terrorist," President Reuven Rivlin wrote on his Facebook page. "We have no tolerance for terror and never will have."
Rivlin added that he supported the prime minister and heads of the security apparatus in their "uncompromising struggle for our right to lead normal lives in every part of the Land of Israel."
Earlier this week, three people were wounded after a firebomb was thrown at their car near the Beit Hanina neighborhood in north Jerusalem. A 27-year-old woman passenger suffered moderate wounds and was taken to the Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem with burns on 15 percent of her body. Her husband, who was also in the vehicle, was unharmed.
The firebomb caused the couple's car to slam into another vehicle, lightly injuring its driver. The car was burned entirely. Another man was lightly wounded while trying to fight the fire.