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Police say driver tried to ram cops in Kiryat Ata, wounding 4; suspects arrested

Officers lightly hurt; police opened fire toward vehicle until it overturned during chase in northern city; officers say Airsoft pistol was found in car when it was searched

Police detain man suspected of involvement in attempted car-ramming of officers in Kiryat Ata, on September 25, 2021 (Israel Police)
Police detain man suspected of involvement in attempted car-ramming of officers in Kiryat Ata, on September 25, 2021 (Israel Police)

Police said on Saturday that two men were arrested after a driver allegedly tried to ram a group of officers in the northern city of Kiryat Ata overnight, hitting and damaging a number of vehicles in the process.

Four police officers were lightly injured.

Police said in a statement that the incident occurred when officers tried to carry out a check on the vehicle and its driver. It was unclear what had raised their suspicions.

Police said that the driver then began to move the vehicle erratically, trying to hit the officers who were in the car’s path and damaging nearby vehicles.

The police officers on the scene chased the vehicle and opened fire toward it until the vehicle overturned. Neither of the suspects were wounded.

Police said that during a search of the car, an Airsoft pistol was discovered and sent for forensic testing.

Airsoft guns are toy firearms that fire spherical rounds, typically made of plastic, at a low velocity. They are often replicas of actual guns and are used for recreational purposes. They are, for the most part, not dangerous if used with eye protection.

The incident came just days after a police volunteer was killed and an officer seriously wounded in a ramming in the northern city of Nahariya.

Hossam Zaghir, 32, a Druze father of two, had been volunteering since 2016, police said. He and Amir Abu Rish, a police officer, were seeking permits from workers at a construction site when they were hit by the vehicle inside the site. Zaghir was killed, while Abu Rish was injured.

The main suspect, Nasim Sah, 44, from the Lower Galilee city of Arraba, reportedly confessed to the ramming. His remand was extended by eight days on Wednesday.

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