Soldier killed as Palestinian rams car into West Bank bus stop
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Soldier killed as Palestinian rams car into West Bank bus stop

Victim named as Sgt. Elhai Teharlev, 20; second person treated for light injuries after attack at Ofra junction, north of Ramallah; driver apprehended

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

Elhai Tehralev, an IDF soldier who was killed in car-ramming attack outside Ofra on April 6, 2017, in a picture dated from 2014. (Facebook)
Elhai Tehralev, an IDF soldier who was killed in car-ramming attack outside Ofra on April 6, 2017, in a picture dated from 2014. (Facebook)

An Israeli soldier was killed and another lightly wounded in an car-ramming attack in the central West Bank on Thursday morning, officials said.

The Palestinian driver of the car was captured by the Israel Defense Forces, an army spokesperson said.

The victim was named as Sgt. Elhai Teharlev, 20, from the settlement of Talmon. The other victim was also a soldier, also listed as in his 20s.

The two victims were standing on the sidewalk near a bus stop when the silver Audi struck them at the Ofra junction on the Route 60 highway, northeast of Ramallah, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

Israeli security forces inspect the site of a car ramming attack outside the Israeli West Bank Settlement of Ofra on April 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)
Israeli security forces inspect the site of a car ramming attack outside the Israeli West Bank Settlement of Ofra on April 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

One was reportedly critically wounded when the car struck him. He received medical treatment, but was pronounced dead on the scene, MDA said.

The second was lightly hurt with injuries to his legs. He was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, a hospital spokesperson said.

The victims’ identities were not immediately released by authorities.

The army said the incident was considered a deliberate attack.

Medics and soldiers respond to a suspected car-ramming attack outside the Ofra settlement in the central West Bank on April 6, 2017. (Magen David Adom)
Medics and soldiers respond to a suspected car-ramming attack outside the Ofra settlement in the central West Bank on April 6, 2017. (Magen David Adom)

The car struck the victims as they stood in an opening, between the bollards protecting the bus stop and the concrete barrier protecting the rest of the sidewalk.

The vehicle, which had Palestinian license plates, went over the sidewalk and into a crop of trees behind it.

The driver was identified by Palestinian media as Malek Ahmad Mousa Hamed, 21, from the nearby town of Silwad.

The attack came as Israeli officials have warned of a possible increase in violence surrounding the Passover holiday.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Hamas terror group said the incident proved a spate of stabbing and car-rammings that appeared to wane in the past year was ongoing.

Israeli security forces inspect the site of a car ramming attack outside the Israeli West Bank Settlement of Ofra on April 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)
Israeli security forces inspect the site of a car ramming attack outside the Israeli West Bank Settlement of Ofra on April 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

“There is no security for the occupation army or the settlers as long as it denies our rights, occupies our land and attacks our people and our holy sites,” Hazem Qasem said in a statement.

On Saturday, three people were injured in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City. The attacker, a West Bank Palestinian, was shot and killed after a chase.

Dov Lieber contributed to this report.

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