3 soldiers hurt in suspected West Bank car-ramming attack
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3 soldiers hurt in suspected West Bank car-ramming attack

Police, IDF still investigating, but say collision was apparently intentional; Palestinian driver also injured

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

An IDF jeep and Palestinian vehicle after a possible car-ramming attack outside the Neve Daniel settlement in the West Bank on July 6, 2016. (Israel Police)
An IDF jeep and Palestinian vehicle after a possible car-ramming attack outside the Neve Daniel settlement in the West Bank on July 6, 2016. (Israel Police)

Three IDF soldiers were lightly injured in a possible car-ramming attack near the Neve Daniel settlement outside of Bethlehem on Wednesday, the army said.

Security officials were treating the incident as a suspected terror attack by the Palestinian driver, who was seriously hurt, although an army spokesperson did not specify what led them to this conclusion.

“Initial inquiry indicates that the ramming was intentional,” the army said in a statement.

According to police, it appeared that the Palestinian man “intentionally collided with the military vehicle.” The incident was, however, still being investigated to determine if it was an accident.

Two of the soldiers were taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for further treatment, the Magen David Adom rescue service said, while the third received treatment at the scene.

The severely injured Palestinian man was taken “by IDF medical personnel” to an undisclosed hospital for further care, MDA said.

Route 60 — one of the main highways through the West Bank — was closed off between Neve Daniel and Gush Etzion junction while the two vehicles were cleared out of the way, police said.

The possible attack comes on the tail of a resurgence in violence that has struck Israel and West Bank in recent weeks.

Last week, 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was stabbed to death in her bed in the settlement of Kiryat Arba by a Palestinian terrorist, and 48-year-old Rabbi Miki Mark was killed near Hebron in a drive-by shooting attack, which also wounded three members of his family.

In response to the attacks, the IDF enforced a closure on the Hebron area and the village of Bani Na’im, the hometown of several attackers.

Since October, 35 Israelis and four others have been killed and hundreds more injured in the wave of Palestinian attacks, though the violence had dramatically waned of late. Some 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while carrying out attacks and the rest in clashes with troops, Israeli officials say.

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