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IDF officer who shot Palestinian attacker to receive military citation

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

The commander of the IDF's West Bank Division, Brig. Ben. Avi Blot, visits Lt. 'Aleph,' in November 2022 after he was wounded in a ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint. (Israel Defense Forces)
The commander of the IDF's West Bank Division, Brig. Ben. Avi Blot, visits Lt. 'Aleph,' in November 2022 after he was wounded in a ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces will award an officer who shot a Palestinian attacker dead — after he rammed into him and tried to attack him with a pickaxe in November — with one of its highest honors.

Lt. “Aleph” — who can only be identified by the first initial of his name in Hebrew — the deputy commander of the Barak company in the 894th Tavor Home Front Command Search and Rescue Battalion, was seriously hurt in the attack on November 2, 2022 at the Bell checkpoint along Route 443.

The Palestinian attacker rammed his van into Aleph at the checkpoint, then got out of the car and tried to attack the officer with a pickaxe. The officer, despite being seriously wounded, managed to shoot back and kill the attacker, Habas Rayan, 54, from the West Bank village of Bayt Duqu.

Aleph will receive a citation from the commander of the IDF’s West Bank Division, Brig. Ben. Avi Blot, approved by the chief of the IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, and the chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi.

“He prevented a larger attack that could have happened. The officer demonstrated high abilities of levelheadedness, precision and dedication to protecting his soldiers and the citizens of Israel, and is an example of what is expected of a soldier and commander in the IDF,” says Blot.

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