8 Palestinians dead, 2 badly injured in West Bank crash between truck and van

Police block Route 90 highway near settlement of Petza’el after collision

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is a breaking news editor at the Times of Israel.

The scene of a fatal traffic accident in the West Bank on January 6, 2022. (Magen David Adom)
The scene of a fatal traffic accident in the West Bank on January 6, 2022. (Magen David Adom)

Eight Palestinians were killed and two others were seriously hurt in a crash between a truck and a van near the West Bank settlement of Petza’el on Thursday afternoon.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said seven victims were found at the scene with no vital signs when medics arrived.

Three others were airlifted to Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem, where one of them later died.

At least two more passengers were trapped inside the minivan, as the Israel Fire and Rescue Service assessed rescue efforts would take some time.

Both vehicles belonged to Palestinians, according to medics.

Graphic footage of the crash leaked to the Kan news outlet showed the van attempting to make a left turn, before being broadsided by the oncoming truck. The van made the turn directly into the oncoming traffic, leaving the truck driver with no opportunity to avoid the crash, Channel 12 news reported.

The collision occurred near the intersection of Route 90 and Route 505 in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, an area where settlements and Palestinian villages are linked by winding roads known to be hazardous for drivers. Israeli activists have lobbied for years for Route 90, a two-lane road that runs the length of Israel and traverses the West Bank, to be upgraded with more safety measures.

The scene of a fatal traffic accident near the West Bank settlement of Petza’el, January 6, 2022. (Courtesy)

Israel Police blocked Route 90 in both directions following the crash as well as Route 505. MDA helicopters and military helicopters were dispatched to the scene to aid in the rescue operation.

Earlier on Thursday, a 25-year-old Palestinian pedestrian was killed after being hit by an Israeli vehicle on Route 443 near the Maccabim checkpoint. Police were investigating the incident.

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