An IDF officer was seriously injured Tuesday night when four pipe bombs detonated near him at a West Bank checkpoint outside of the Palestinian village of Hizme, north of Jerusalem.
According to an initial investigation at the scene, the army believes the four improvised explosive devices had been planted earlier along the road and detonated as the troops approached, the IDF said in a statement.
The explosive devices detonated near the man’s face, seriously wounding him. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood and rushed into an operating room for treatment, a hospital spokesperson said.
IDF soldiers, along with a police sapper unit, located another five unexploded pipe bombs in the area. They were “removed and disarmed” in a combined IDF and Israel Police effort, the army said in a statement.
Circumstances surrounding the incident were still under investigation as of late Tuesday night, an IDF spokesperson said. Palestinian reports said soldiers were descending on homes and businesses in the area and confiscating closed circuit television cameras in an effort to apprehend suspects.
In addition to his head wound, it is believed that the officer suffered other injuries, though the full extent of his condition was not immediately known, a hospital spokesperson said.
However, hospital sources said later that his life was not in immediate danger.
The United Hatzalah ambulance service said the wounded soldier was fully conscious after the explosions, despite the head injury.
Dvir Adani, a volunteer medic with the ambulance unit of United Hatzalah, said he was among the first responders at the scene and treated the injured soldier.
“When I arrived at the scene I saw a young man who was suffering from a head wound. Together with other volunteer medics we treated the injured man after which he was transferred by an emergency services ambulance to the hospital. He was fully conscious at the time of evacuation. We did not find any other injured persons during the incident,” Adani said.
Route 437 highway, which runs northeast of Jerusalem through the West Bank, was closed in both directions because of the incident, police said.