Four Wounded in Car-ramming Attack at Tapuah Junction, West Bank

The driver of the vehicle was shot and moderately wounded.

An Israeli policeman stands in front of a damaged car of a Palestinian, who Israeli army said drove into three Israeli soldiers at Tapuah Junction on Nov. 24, 2015.
AFP

Four men were wounded on Tuesday morning in a car-ramming attack at Tapuah Junction in the West Bank.

The four wounded, three Israel Defense Forces soldiers and one Border Police officer, all aged in their 20s, were taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

The assailant, identified as a resident of Jenin, rammed his car into a group of soldiers standing at the junction. A Border Police officer at the site shot and seriously wounded the driver of the vehicle, who was also taken to hospital where he underwent surgery. He will later be taken in for questioning.

According to Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller, three of the wounded sustained light injuries while the fourth was in moderate condition.

The morning's attack followed a day of violence Monday in Jerusalem and the West Bank in which an IDF soldier was killed and several others wounded in three separate stabbing attacks. Monday's violence brought the total number of Israelis killed since mid-September to 23.

The most serious attack took place in the afternoon at a gas station on Route 443, a major highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that runs through the West Bank. 

The incident began with a minor road accident, when the military vehicle in which Pvt. Ziv Mizrahi and a female officer were driving collided with a van. As the two were waiting for help at the gas station, a Palestinian ran up and began stabbing them. He continued stabbing until he was shot and killed by soldiers stationed at an outpost near the gas station.

Mizrahi, 18, of the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, was pronounced dead by paramedics on the scene after their efforts to resuscitate him failed, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.

“He had no pulse and was not breathing,” MDA paramedic Uri Gavriel said of Mizrahi, who was found unconscious with stab wounds to his upper body. “We provided him with medical treatment and tried at length to resuscitate him.”

The 22-year-old officer was lightly wounded and evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment. She was said to be in stable condition after being stabbed in one of her limbs.

A Palestinian woman in her fifties was lightly wounded when a bullet casing hit her car while the soldiers were firing at the terrorist.

Mizrahi was laid to rest Tuesday at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem. A spokeswoman for the Givat Ze’ev local council noted that his uncle, Alon Mizrahi, was also killed in a terror attack – a suicide bombing at Jerusalem’s Café Hillel in 2003.

The terrorist was identified as Ahmed Jamal Ahmed Taha of the West Bank village of Katana.

The gas station at which the attack occurred was the scene of a stabbing attack in August, in which an Israeli was moderately wounded. That terrorist was also killed by soldiers stationed nearby.

In an earlier attack in Jerusalem on Monday morning, two Palestinian girls aged 14 and 16 stabbed a 70-year-old man with a scissors on Jaffa Road, near the Mahane Yehuda market. Their victim, who was lightly wounded, turned out to be a fellow Palestinian. He was taken to the hospital with stab wounds in his upper body.

The teens then tried to stab other passersby, police said.

A police sapper who happened to be nearby jumped out of his car, drew his gun and ordered the girls to halt and drop the scissors, according to the police. Instead of obeying, the girls began advancing on the policeman, still holding the scissors.

At that point, he opened fire, killing one of the girls and seriously wounding the other in her stomach. She was taken to Shaare Zedek for treatment.

Another Israeli, a 27-year-old security guard, suffered light wounds to his hand, apparently after being hit by a bullet casing from the sapper’s gun. He was also taken to the hospital.

Palestinian sources said the two assailants were cousins from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Matar. The one who was killed, Hadil Wajia Awad, was the sister of Mohammed Awad, who suffered a bullet wound to the head during clashes with the IDF near the Qalandiyah refugee camp in 2013 and died after lingering in the hospital for a year.

The cousin who was wounded was identified as Nurhan Awad.

“The sapper’s quick, professional response halted the incident and prevented injury to other innocent people,” Jerusalem police chief Moshe Edri said.

The third attack of the day occurred yesterday afternoon, when a Palestinian tried to stab a solider not far from the Samaria Brigade’s base in the West Bank. Other soldiers shot and killed the terrorist. None of the soldiers were injured.

In a fourth incident, an 18-year-old Israeli was lightly wounded when a car tried to run him over near the former West Bank settlement of Homesh. The car then drove off, and the army is now trying to find the driver. It’s not yet clear whether it was a deliberate attack or an accident.

Also on Monday, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area in southern Israel, but caused no damage or casualties.

Israeli warplanes retaliated with a strike on a Hamas military compound in the center of the Gaza Strip overnight.