Doctors noted an improvement in the condition of an Israeli soldier who was critically injured earlier this month in a car-ramming attack in the capital, Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital said Monday.
The soldier was released from the intensive care unit and transferred to the neurosurgery department, the hospital said.
The Golani Brigade soldier was badly injured in the February 6 attack outside Jerusalem’s First Station, a popular entertainment hub, and 11 other servicemen suffered milder injuries. They were all new recruits on a heritage tour through the city, hours before their swearing-in ceremony.
Less than 24 hours later, Israeli security forces arrested the suspected terrorist believed to have carried it out, arresting him at the Gush Etzion Junction in the southern West Bank, police said.
The Shin Bet said the suspect was a 25-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur who had no history of terrorist activity. He was later identified as Sanad al-Turman.
Turman’s brother told the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Friday that the incident was not a terror attack but rather a traffic incident, after the driver accidentally mounted the sidewalk in his vehicle.
After the attack, Turman fled the scene, abandoning his car in the West Bank town of Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem.
But according to IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman, an initial investigation into the attack found that the soldiers were standing on the sidewalk next to the station when the car rammed them suddenly at high speed.
The vehicle then quickly reversed and fled the scene. It did not appear that the soldiers were able to shoot at the driver during or after the attack, Zilberman said.
Among the new recruits moderately injured was San Diego-native Ori Hammond. He was released from the hospital last Wednesday.
The ramming came amid a rise in tensions following the release of US President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The IDF has been on a heightened state of alert and has sent three waves of reinforcements to the West Bank.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.