Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man in the West Bank early Tuesday morning in what the Israeli military deemed an attempted ramming attack, an account disputed by Palestinian witnesses.
“IDF soldiers thwarted a car-ramming incident overnight during an operation in Bir Nabala,” the IDF said in a statement, referring to a town northeast of Jerusalem.
Palestinian media identified the man as Osama Mahmoud Mansour, 42, a resident of the West Bank town of Biddu, close to Jerusalem. His wife rejected the Israeli military’s account and said the couple had simply gone to run an errand.
“There were two army vehicles and some soldiers. They asked us to stop, so we stopped. There were a number of cars with us as well [at the roadblock]. We turned off the car. They told us to go, so we fired up the car and began heading out. Then they hit us with bullets,” his wife — whose name has not yet been published — told official Palestinian TV.
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) April 6, 2021
The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said Mansour said the man was brought in critical condition to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah but died of his wounds. Mansour’s wife was also injured, according to the Health Ministry.
“[After Mansour was shot] the car began veering to the left. He looked like he had just gone to sleep. I started driving and pulled the car over until we found some young men who could get us to a hospital,” Mansour’s wife said.
The army said that soldiers were manning a roadblock that was set up in order to enable other forces in the area to operate without interruption from passing traffic.
Soldiers at the checkpoint identified a car that stopped at the checkpoint and “suddenly accelerated toward another group of soldiers operating in the area,” endangered the lives of the troops, the army said.
The incident came amid an uptick in violence in the West Bank in recent weeks, with an increasing number of rock-throwing attacks and firebombings along highways as well as a number of attacks on Palestinians.
Last week IDF soldiers arrested a Palestinian man who allegedly tried to ram a group of soldiers near the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. The vehicle instead hit several other Israeli vehicles and the suspect was arrested. There were no injuries reported in the incident, at the parking lot of the Ein Mabu’a nature reserve. The military said the incident appeared to be a terror attack, but did not seem to rule out the possibility it had been an accident.
Earlier in March, a Palestinian man tried to stab an Israeli soldier during an overnight operation in the West Bank village of Tubas and was shot by another soldier.