4 hurt in suspected car-ramming attack in northern Israel

Driver of the attacking vehicle shot after he hits 3 troops, 51-year-old man in the city of Acre; police investigating motive

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Two soldiers, a border guard and a civilian were lightly injured in a suspected car-ramming attack in the northern Israeli city of Acre on Sunday, officials said.

The driver of the SUV was shot multiple times and critically wounded, the United Hatzalah medical service said.

Police said they were investigating the possibility that the ramming was a terror attack. Israel Radio reported that the driver was an Arab Israeli man from the town of Shfaram. This could not be immediately confirmed by police.

Eyewitnesses said the man had received an expensive parking ticket just before he set off on the attack, according to media reports, leading to the assumption that the rammings were conducted as an act of revenge. Police would not immediately confirm that this was the motive.

“From the initial findings, it’s clear this was a serious event. But we don’t want to come to hasty conclusions at this time,” said Yaniv Ronen, head of the Acre Police.

The three servicemen were all said to be in their 20s, while the injured civilian was said to be a 51-year-old man.

All four were hit by the Hyundai SUV, according to a spokesperson for the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

The aftermath of a suspected car-ramming attack in the northern city of Acre on March 4, 2018. (Magen David Adom)

One victim was hit by the car outside the Acre city market. The driver then continued toward a train station and hit the other two victims, before he was shot and stopped by an armed soldier who was at the scene.

It was not immediately clear when the 51-year-old victim was hit by the car.

Graphic security camera footage showed the ramming next to the market. A soldier can be seen crossing the street, when the Hyundai SUV drives into him at full speed.

Video footage from outside the train station, filmed by a bystander with his smartphone, showed the driver hopping the curb and driving onto a patch of grass as he hit two other servicemen.

The driver turns back in an apparent attempt to hit the soldiers again, and then returns to the road and flees the scene as police arrive.

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Medics said all three victims were lightly wounded.

They were taken to the Galilee Medical Center in nearby Nahariya, along with the critically injured driver, by the Magen David Adom ambulance service, police said.

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