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Police officer wounded in hit-and-run near Shoham; terror ruled out

Stolen car rams police barricade in ‘suspected criminal incident,’ severely injuring officer; law enforcement arrests suspect following manhunt

The scene of a hit and run incident near Shoham, April 30, 2022. (Courtesy)
The scene of a hit and run incident near Shoham, April 30, 2022. (Courtesy)

A police officer was severely wounded in a hit-and-run near the central Israeli town of Shoham late Saturday night.

Police said it was a “suspected criminal incident,” meaning it was not believed to be terrorism.

A stolen vehicle hit the officer on Route 444, at the entrance to Shoham, then fled the scene, police said.

Law enforcement found the vehicle close to the nearby Koach Junction shortly after the collision.

Police then launched a search for the suspect, or suspects, with the help of a helicopter. Officers set up roadblocks in the area and were collecting forensic evidence.

Early on Sunday morning, police said that a suspect had been arrested by Border Police officers.

The Magen David Adom emergency service said a man around age 30 was injured in the incident, apparently referring to the police officer.

He was found at the scene semi-conscious with severe injuries to his head and body, and rushed to the Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Ramat Gan for treatment, MDA said.

The Ynet news site said the injured officer had been manning a roadblock that had been set up to search for the stolen vehicle. The car thief had apparently rammed through the obstacle in order to escape.

The report said the officer was a member of the Border Police.

The incident appeared to be criminal in nature, and not related to terror, but came a day after a deadly attack at the West Bank city of Ariel, and initially sparked speculation that it was another attack.

On Friday night, 23-year-old Vyacheslav Golev, a security guard, was killed in a terror shooting at the entrance to Ariel.

Golev used his body to shield his fiancée, also a security guard, from the hail of bullets, saving her life, according to military officials.

After a 20-hour manhunt, counterterrorism forces arrested two Palestinians allegedly behind the deadly terrorist attack.

The attack came as tensions have risen sharply between Israel and the Palestinians in recent weeks against the backdrop of repeated terror attacks in Israeli cities that have left 15 dead.

The escalation has come amid the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — often a period of high tension in Israel and the West Bank.

The army has stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence. The ensuing army raids sparked clashes that left at least 26 Palestinians dead, many of whom took part in the clashes, while others appeared to have been uninvolved civilians.

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