Officer seriously wounded in West Bank car-ramming; attacker shot dead — IDF
Footage shows assailant running over victim at checkpoint near Modiin, then getting out and trying to attack him with pickaxe before injured soldier shoots him
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
An officer in the Israel Defense Forces was seriously wounded Wednesday morning in a car-ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint east of the Israeli city of Modiin and near the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon, the military said.
Footage of the incident at the “Bell” checkpoint, where Routes 4436 and 4437 from Beit Ur and Ramallah hit the major Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway Route 443, showed a van hitting the officer before the driver gets out of the car and appears to try to attack the victim with a pickaxe.
The injured officer then shot the Palestinian assailant, killing him.
He was named by Palestinian media as Habas Rayan, 54, from the West Bank village of Bayt Duqu. Israeli media said two of his sons have served time in prison for terror offenses, and one of them is still behind bars.
The officer, in his 20s, was taken to the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, where he was listed in serious but stable condition, according to medical officials.
The incident came a day after Israel’s national election, during which a closure was imposed on border crossings for Palestinians between the West Bank and Israel. The closure of the crossings had ended at midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.
מבצע הדריסה שנורה למוות הבוקר במחסום מדרום לרמאללה הוא, חבאס עבד אל-חפיז' יוסף ריאן מבית דקו והוא היה בן 54. pic.twitter.com/Xf7w9AMjAw
— רסאלה (@RISALA_2) November 2, 2022
The attack also came amid heightened tensions in the West Bank.
On Sunday, a Palestinian driver plowed his vehicle into Israeli soldiers at two locations south of the West Bank city of Jericho, injuring five of them before being shot.
In a shooting terror attack on Saturday, Israeli Ronen Hanania was shot dead Saturday night while visiting a convenience store located between the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba and the adjacent city of Hebron, after a Palestinian gunman opened fire. The terrorist was rammed by a security guard and shot dead by an off-duty soldier.
In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have also repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements, and civilians on the roads.
An anti-terror offensive launched earlier this year and focused on the northern West Bank has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids.
It has also left over 125 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.
The IDF’s anti-terror offensive in the West Bank was launched following a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people earlier this year.
Another Israeli was killed in a suspected attack in September, and four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.
In raids across the West Bank early Wednesday, troops detained 10 wanted Palestinians and seized several firearms, the military said.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.