Soldier hurt in apparent West Bank ramming attack
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Soldier hurt in apparent West Bank ramming attack

Assailant shot dead as he tried to stab soldiers after vehicular attack near Tekoa settlement, outside Bethlehem

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The scene of a car-ramming attack on a highway in the central West Bank on July 10, 2017 (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)
The scene of a car-ramming attack on a highway in the central West Bank on July 10, 2017 (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

A soldier was moderately wounded in a suspected car ramming attack outside the Palestinian village of Teqoa on Monday, medical officials said.

The driver of the vehicle was shot dead by security forces at a junction on the road between the settlements of Tekoa and Efrat in the central West Bank south of Jerusalem, the army said.

The injured soldier was approximately 20 years old. He suffered moderate wounds and received treatment at the scene by both civilian and military medics, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said in a statement.

According to the military, the assailant, who has yet to be identified, exited his vehicle after the ramming attack and tried to stab another soldier before he was shot.

A knife used by a Palestinian to stab soldiers after he tried to ram them with his car on a road near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa on July 10, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
A knife used by a Palestinian to stab soldiers after he tried to ram them with his car on a road near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa on July 10, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Army medics treated the Palestinian man on the scene, but he was pronounced dead a short while after the car ramming.

The army said the incident was being treated as an attack, not an accident, based on initial reports from the scene.

It was not immediately clear if the soldier was hit by the vehicle or by a streetlight that fell after it was hit by the Palestinian’s car.

The soldier sustained wounds to his arms and legs. He was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment, Magen David Adom said.

At the hospital, the soldier’s condition was changed from moderate to mild. According to a Shaare Zedek spokesperson, the soldier’s main injuries were to his right knee and right forearm. He was fully conscious.

Soldiers at the scene of an apparent car-ramming attack on a highway in the central West Bank on July 10, 2017 (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)
Soldiers at the scene of an apparent car-ramming attack on a highway in the central West Bank on July 10, 2017 (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

According to an eyewitness, soldiers on the scene had earlier been checking passing Palestinian vehicles “without a barrier or protection.”

The past two years have seen an ongoing wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel, though it has waned in recent months.

Since September 2015, mainly Palestinian assailants have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, a Palestinian man and a British student, mainly in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks. In that time, some 280 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.

The Israeli government has blamed the terrorism and violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify violence and encourage attacks.

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