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3 killed, 3 wounded in West Bank attack; terrorist shot dead

Victims of stabbing and car-ramming spree treated at three locations in Ariel Industrial Park and on nearby highway; IDF troops enter attacker’s town

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli security and medics at the scene of a stabbing attack at a gas station near Ariel, in the West Bank, on November 15, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
Israeli security and medics at the scene of a stabbing attack at a gas station near Ariel, in the West Bank, on November 15, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Three Israelis were killed and three were hurt in a stabbing and car-ramming attack in and around the West Bank settlement of Ariel on Tuesday morning, the military and medics said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a security guard near the entrance to the Ariel Industrial Park. The terrorist then stabbed three people at and adjacent to a nearby gas station, before he fled in an apparently stolen vehicle.

Shortly afterward, the terrorist crashed the vehicle into other cars on the Route 5 highway, before getting out and stabbing another person, according to medics. He then stole another vehicle and drove it against traffic, crashing into more cars, before he got out and was shot dead by soldiers and armed civilians.

Odelia Shahaf, a Magen David Adom ambulance service medic who was at the scene, said she thought it was a traffic accident.

“I was on the road and noticed what looked like a car accident. I saw a wounded man lying on the road and immediately went over to him,” she said.

“While I started treating him I heard people shouting ‘terrorist terrorist’ and saw a man running with a knife running in our direction,” Shahaf said.

Israeli security and medics at the scene of a terror attack near Ariel, in the West Bank, on November 15, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

“He then managed to stab and injure a 35-year-old man. I went over to the wounded man who was badly stabbed and stopped his bleeding,” she said. The terrorist at that point got into another vehicle and again crashed into the cars on the highway, she said.

One of the off-duty soldiers who killed the terrorist was heading to a memorial for a man killed in a terror attack last month, the military said.

Medics and security forces at the scene of a stabbing attack in the Ariel industrial zone, November 15, 2022. (Courtesy/Dan Asulin)

Prior to his enlistment in the Armored Corps, the private, who can only be identified by his rank and first initial, worked at a store owned by Shalom Sofer.

On October 25, 63-year-old Sofer was stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist after he exited a store in al-Funduq, a Palestinian village near the settlement of Kedumim. After being hospitalized in serious condition Sofer was released, but he succumbed to his injuries last Tuesday at home.

“This morning while I was driving on Route 5 I noticed an unusual incident on the road. When I realized it was a terror attack, I got out of the car, identified the terrorist, and opened fire at him,” the soldier, Pvt. “Yud” said in a video statement published by the IDF.

Another on-duty Golani Brigade soldier and armed civilians also opened fire at the terrorist, killing him.

Israeli security and medics at the scene of a stabbing attack at a gas station near Ariel, in the West Bank, on November 15, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

MDA said the 36-year-old security guard was seriously hurt. Security officials were probing how the terrorist managed to flee after stabbing the guard at the first scene, and why they were not shot by another guard. The second guard only fired into the air.

Two men in their 40s who were stabbed at and near the gas station were killed, and another man in his 40s was seriously hurt. The killed men were later named as Michael Ladygin and Motti Ashkenazi.

A man in his 50s, later named as Tamir Avihai, was killed after being rammed by the terrorist, and another 35-year-old was stabbed and seriously hurt on Route 5, according to MDA.

Victims of a terror attack near the northern West Bank settlement of Ariel on November 15, 2022., Tamir Avihai (L) Michael Ladygin (C) and Motti Ashkenazi,(R). (Courtesy)

The Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva said it was treating three victims in serious condition, one of whom was unstable. It later said the condition of one of the victims had improved.

The terrorist was named by the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry as 18-year-old Muhammed Souf, from the nearby town of Hares.

Muhammed Souf (via Twitter)

Local officials said the terrorist had worked in the industrial zone, and had a valid permit. Souf did not have any prior security offenses, a defense source told The Times of Israel.

According to Palestinian media reports, Israeli troops entered Hares following the attack. The military said troops were dispatched to the scene and were searching the area for a suspect who allegedly aided the terrorist.

Israeli forces search the Palestinian town of Hares in the West Bank on November 15, 2022, following an attack in which a Palestinian terrorist killed three Israelis. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Military chief Aviv Kohavi who toured the scene later in the day said the attack “should have ended otherwise.”

“We will investigate and draw lessons,” Kohavi said in a statement published by the IDF.

A handout photo from the military shows IDF chief Aviv Kohavi (2nd-L) meeting with senior commanders at the scene of a deadly terror attack near the northern West Bank settlement of Ariel, November 15, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

A person initially reported by medics to have been a second attacker was one of the victims.

The attack came amid an Israeli anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 26 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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