Soldiers Attacked in Suspected Jerusalem Ramming Didn't Follow Orders, Israeli Army Finds

Probe by Israeli army reveals the suspected assailant is brother of Mohammed Edwan, who was killed in clashes with the IDF at the Qalandiyah refugee camp

Yaniv Kubovich
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Emergency responders at Hizma checkpoint, Jerusalem, July 6, 2019.
Emergency responders at Hizma checkpoint, Jerusalem, July 6, 2019. Credit: MDA
Yaniv Kubovich

A probe carried out by the Israeli military has determined that soldiers who were run over in a suspected car-ramming attack at the Hizma checkpoint in northern Jerusalem over the weekend did not operate according to commanders’ instructions.

According to the Israel Defense Forces’ investigation, the soldiers did not disguise themselves properly. Two of them were moderately injured, and another three were lightly hurt in the incident. They were spared a more serious injury because they used defensive equipment.

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The Palestinian arrested on suspicion of perpetrating the attack is Fadi Dar Edwan, the brother of Mohammed Dar Edwan, a 23-year-old who was killed by live fire in clashes with the Israeli army at the Qalandiyah refugee camp in April. His family told Haaretz that they do not know what happened on the night of the incident. "Fadi was in the car with his father, so it's strange that he would do such a thing ... The family was badly affected by the death of Mohammed but there were no signs that Fadi was planning anything," they said.

The conclusions of the probe reveal that despite the fact that security forces were briefed for two days on how to handle different scenarios in which they may come under attack, the soldiers did not take the necessary measures to protect themselves.

The soldiers arrived at the scene following a report of rock throwing in the area. A commander of a company based where the ramming happened linked up with five soldiers and a tracker. Together, the six reached the spot where the tracker identified the exact location. The army’s investigation ruled that officers and soldiers did not anticipate the possibility that they would be run over. 

According to the military, the suspect saw the tracker operating his flashlight, identified the other soldiers and drove toward them. Both the commander of the company and the tracker were injured.

The company commander, who was moderately wounded, reported the ramming immediately after it happened and also provided information regarding the type of car that hit them and the direction in which it sped off. Security forces later scouted the area and located the vehicle, where the suspect was sitting with his parents. Forces also found the tracker’s flashlight inside the car.