Two Palestinians Arrested for Bombing as Victim's Condition Improves

IDF officer was wounded last Tuesday when a bomb went off at the entrance to Hizme, a Palestinian village just outside one of West Bank's main checkpoints.

Scene of bomb attack near East Jerusalem's Hizme checkpoint in West Bank. May 10, 2016
Emil Salman

The Israel Defense Forces officer who was seriously wounded by a bomb near an East Jerusalem checkpoint last week is now in much better condition, his hospital reported Sunday, just as the army announced it had arrested two people for their role in the attack.

The officer, 2nd Lt. Shahar Roditi, is now fully conscious and his condition has been upgraded from serious to moderate, the hospital said.

Also on Sunday, a gag order was lifted on the fact that two Palestinians suspected of involvement in the bombing were arrested last week. The Shin Bet security service said significant progress has been made in their interrogation.

Roditi was wounded last Tuesday when a bomb went off at the entrance to Hizme, a Palestinian village just outside one of the main checkpoints between the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited him in the hospital, and the two were able to communicate. But since Roditi’s speech capability was impaired by the bombing, he can communicate only in writing.

“It was moving to visit the officer and to meet him and his family, who are displaying real emotional strength,” Ya’alon said. “What he needs now is time to recover. There are excellent doctors here and a supportive environment, and I’m certain that his willpower and that of his family will help him return to an active, productive life.”

A preliminary investigation of the incident found that Roditi, a platoon commander in the Home Front Command, was patrolling the area with his soldiers when they noticed a suspicious object. Roditi got out of his vehicle to investigate, and then the explosion occurred. A subsequent search revealed four pipe bombs that had gone off, seriously wounding Roditi.

The soldiers also found five unexploded pipe bombs in the area, which were neutralized by sappers. In addition, they found an unexploded gas canister, but it’s not yet clear whether that was supposed to be part of the attack.