Shin Bet Agent Shoots at Israeli Driver in West Bank, After Mistaking Him for a Terrorist

The driver, who was unharmed, exited the car and shouted to forces that he is Jewish, which made them stop shooting

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File photo: A soldier guarding a bus stop in the West Bank.
File photo: A soldier guarding a bus stop in the West Bank. Credit: Emil Salman

A Shin Bet security service agent mistakenly shot at an Israeli driver in the West Bank Tuesday, believing he was attempting a car-ramming attack. The driver was unhurt.  

The army said it was investigating the incident.

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The incident began when the driver, the resident of a nearby settlement, hit a Palestinian car at a checkpoint and continued to drive, at high speed.

A Shin Bet agent fired two bullets at the vehicle, hitting the windshield. He stopped firing when the driver stopped, got out of his car and shouted at the security forces that he is Jewish. 

In a written statement, the Shin Bet said that a vehicle accelerated toward security forces in the Birzeit area, after hitting another car. “The forces, thinking the driver was attempting a car-ramming attack, shot at the vehicle. There were no casualties and an initial investigation shows it not an attempted terrorist attack. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” the statement added.

The Mateh Binyamin Regional Council said in a statement that a minor traffic accident occurred on Route 465. “It appears that a member of the security forces at the scene mistakenly thought the driver, who resides in the Binyamin Regional Council, intended to run him over. He shot at the driver’s car, hitting it. Miraculously, the driver was not hit.” 

On Monday, an Israeli teen suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians died when the car he was riding in overturned during a police chase. The deceased was later identified as Ahuvia Sandak, 16. Four other suspects in the car suffered mild to moderate injuries.

The fatal accident provoked protests in Jerusalem later Monday, Dozens of settlers, including friends of Sandak, demonstrated outside police headquarters in Jerusalem. Some tried to break into the compound, and police said at least 50 were detained during clashes with police.

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