IDF: Palestinian driving stolen car shot dead after assaulting soldier at checkpoint

Military says serviceman lightly hurt in confrontation, which saw suspect allegedly attempt to snatch soldier’s gun

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

Medics and security forces at the Rantis checkpoint in the West Bank, after a Palestinian in a stolen car allegedly assaulted a soldier before being shot dead, June 9, 2023. (Courtesy: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Medics and security forces at the Rantis checkpoint in the West Bank, after a Palestinian in a stolen car allegedly assaulted a soldier before being shot dead, June 9, 2023. (Courtesy: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A Palestinian man was shot dead at a checkpoint in the West Bank early Friday morning after assaulting a soldier and attempting to snatch his weapon, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the suspect arrived from the Israeli side of the Rantis Checkpoint, northwest of Ramallah, in a car that had apparently been stolen. Palestinian criminals frequently steal cars in Israel to bring them into the West Bank.

“While IDF soldiers inspected his vehicle, the suspect attacked an IDF soldier and attempted to steal his weapon. Another soldier in the area shot at the suspect and neutralized him,” the military said in a statement.

The IDF said the soldier was lightly hurt and taken to a hospital for further treatment.

The suspect died of his wounds at the scene. The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said it was notified of the man’s death, indicating the body was held by Israel. The ministry named him 29-year-old Mahdi Samir Muhammad Bayadseh.

The military suspected the background to the incident was criminal-related given the stolen car. “The incident is under review,” the IDF added.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been high for the past year, with the Israeli military conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank, in the wake of a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.

Since the beginning of the year, Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank have killed 20 people and left several more seriously hurt.

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 116 West Bank Palestinians have been killed during that span, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.

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