A Palestinian attempted to run over soldiers in the West Bank settlement of Halamish Friday afternoon, an Israeli military statement said.
IDF soldiers were sitting on a bench by the road when a Palestinian driver accelerated in their direction. The soldiers managed to get out of the way before the driver hit the bench. They shot the driver, killing him. The Israeli military said that no soldiers were hurt in the attempt.
Palestinian reports identify the driver as Fadi Adnan Ka'ad, 37, from the village of Abu Qash, north of Ramallah. Family members reject the claim that Ka'ad was attempting to carry out an attack, saying that he was on his way to pick up his wife in Salfit when his car slid and soldiers shot him.
In a briefing to senior IDF officers earlier this week, Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said he was issuing an alert to army commanders regarding a possible escalation in the West Bank and Gaza ahead of July, on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex some settlements in the West Bank.
At a meeting a Likud meeting on Monday, Netanyahu said he intends to apply Israeli sovereignty to settlements and the Jordan Valley as early as July 1. “We have a target date and we won’t change it,” declared the prime minister.
The IDF explained that it was not unusual for the chief of staff to instruct the army to be prepared, given that escalation is a likely scenario. Kochavi’s words related mainly to the West Bank, less so to the Gaza Strip. So far, the army has not sent reinforcements to the West Bank, despite a rise in the number of attempted attacks in the last two weeks.
Towards July, the army is preparing to implement a plan to deal with a possible outbreak of violence. This plan includes a significant reinforcement of forces in the West Bank. Kochavi held another meeting on Monday, in which various possible scenarios were discussed.