Four soldiers lightly hurt in Palestinian attacks

Attackers shot dead while carrying out consecutive car-ramming and shooting attacks near Kiryat Arba in the West Bank

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

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Four Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded Monday morning in two shooting and car-ramming attacks outside the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron.

During the first incident, shortly before 7 a.m., two Palestinians plowed into a hitchhiking post at the Elias Junction with a car, emerged from the vehicle, and opened fire. One soldier was lightly hurt by gunfire.

Troops at the scene opened fire on the attackers and killed them, the IDF confirmed in a statement. A pistol and a makeshift rifle were found on their person.

Several minutes later, a second Palestinian vehicle plowed into soldiers at the scene of the first attack, lightly wounding one, the IDF said

The driver was also shot dead. Two knives were uncovered on the assailant’s person, according to the army.

Video taken from inside a bus at the scene appeared to show soldiers responding to the first attack:

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the attacks were coordinated, and an IDF spokesperson said some two hours later that the army was still trying to unravel the “complicated” string of events.

“We received an alert about a car-ramming and shooting attack near the hitchhiking post,” said Magen David Adom paramedic Eyal Mor Yosef, who treated victims of both attacks. “When we arrived at the scene we saw a young man of about 20 who was fully conscious and suffering from a deep wound in his limbs.

Two guns and a knife uncovered by soldiers on the persons of three Palestinians who carried out attacks outside Kiryat Arba on Monday morning, March 14, 2016 (IDF spokesperson)
Two guns and a knife uncovered by soldiers on the persons of three Palestinians who carried out attacks outside Kiryat Arba on Monday morning, March 14, 2016 (IDF spokesperson)

“We administered first aid to him in the field and he was then evacuated to Shaare Zedek hospital in light condition. A few minutes later, when we were still at the scene, a second car arrived, veered out of its lane, and hit another young man of about 20. Together with an IDF medical team, we administered first aid to him. He was lightly wounded.”

In addition, two soldiers were very lightly hurt by shrapnel and cuts and bruises, bringing the total number of wounded to four, an IDF spokesperson said.

The attackers were Qassem Fared Jaber, 31, and Amir Fouad al-Janadi, 22, both from Hebron; and Yousef Mustafa Tarayrah, 18, from nearby Bani Na’im, the Palestinian health ministry said. Israeli reporters tweeted pictures of two of the attackers.

The Hebron area has been one of the hardest hit, with dozens of attacks taking place there, since the onset of the recent wave of Palestinian violence late last year.

In all, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in Palestinian terrorism and violence since October. Some 190 Palestinians have been killed, around two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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