An Israeli woman was killed in the northern West Bank on Thursday night after being struck by a Palestinian car.
The woman, in her forties, was hit by the vehicle on Route 60, near the Havat Gilad outpost. She was declared dead by the Magen David Adom ambulance service after paramedics were unable to resuscitate her.
Immediately after the incident, security forces, suspecting a car-ramming terror attack, erected roadblocks in the area and at the entrance to the Palestinian city of Nablus and inspected vehicles in an effort to apprehend the suspect.
The woman was a resident of the Emmanuel settlement, which put out a statement late Thursday saying the local council “mourns her premature death,” and said it will offer support to the husband and family.
The name of the woman has not yet been released as some family members were still being sought to notify them of the death.
The driver of the vehicle, which witnesses said was a cab, turned himself in to Palestinian police shortly afterwards.
A senior PA official told the Times of Israel the driver was a 63-year-old male who insisted what happened had been an accident and not an attack. The official added that the man would remain in the custody of the PA police and would be dealt with by the PA judicial system.
According to the Ynet news site, the man told Palestinian officials he had fled the scene of the incident because he feared for his safety after what had occurred.
Military sources said there was no clear evidence of terrorism and the working assumption was that the incident was a hit-and-run. Officials insisted, however, that a terror attack had not been ruled out.
Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan insisted the case had all the hallmarks of a terror attack.
“From the point of view of the military commanders in the field, and from our point of view as well, this is a terror attack for all intents and purposes,” he claimed.
The settler leader pointed out that the junction is well lit and that there were no skid marks or other signs that the driver had tried to come to a sudden halt. “This is another terror attack, a cold-blooded murder of a Samaria resident on a central road in the State of Israel.”
After the incident, some 30 Israeli residents of nearby settlements protested near the site of the attack. Some Hebrew media reports said some of the protesters threw stones at Palestinians passing nearby.
A spokesperson for the Samaria Regional Council said the incident occurred near the site of an attack in January, when Rabbi Raziel Shevach was shot dead by a Hamas terrorist.
“This is a very grave incident,” Dagan said. “But we, the residents of Samaria, will continue to be strong and sanctify life.”