Two Border Police officers lightly hurt in suspected West Bank ramming

Incident in Silat al-Harithiya comes as troops reportedly perpare to raze home of suspect in deadly shooting attack last December

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

The remains of a car that rammed a Border Police vehicle in the West Bank town of Silat al-Harithiya, March 7, 2022. (Israel Police)
The remains of a car that rammed a Border Police vehicle in the West Bank town of Silat al-Harithiya, March 7, 2022. (Israel Police)

Two Border Police officers were lightly hurt in a suspected car ramming attack in the West Bank town of Silat al-Harithiya on Monday night, police said, as troops entered the town, reportedly to demolish the home of a suspect in a previous shooting attack.

According to police, a Palestinian vehicle accelerated toward troops in an armored vehicle and collided with it at at high speed, injuring the two.

The wounded officers were taken for further medical treatment at a nearby base, police said.

It added that the driver of the vehicle was arrested, and was being questioned by security forces.

The incident came amid clashes in the area, as military and police forces entered the town. According to Palestinian media reports, gunfire was also heard nearby, and at least one Palestinian was shot.

There was no immediate statement from the Israel Defense Forces on the incidents.

Dozens of troops entered the town to demolish the home of a suspect charged in the deadly shooting attack near the illegal outpost of Homesh in the northern West Bank last December, according to Palestinian media.

According to the Shin Bet security agency, a cell belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group was behind that attack, in which one man, Yehuda Dimentman, was killed, and two others were lightly wounded.

One suspect had his home demolished last month, and three other suspects’ families have outstanding demolition orders against their homes.

Yehuda Dimentman. (Courtesy)

Israeli authorities often take punitive action such as home demolitions before a conviction in cases of terrorist attacks. Israel defends the practice of razing the family homes of attackers as a deterrent against future assaults, and officials have argued that speed is essential, claiming that the deterrent factor degrades over time.

Over the years, however, a number of Israeli defense officials have questioned the efficacy of the practice, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.

Tensions have been rising across the West Bank over the past few months. December and January saw repeated “lone wolf” attacks, with Palestinians seeking to stab or run over Israelis. Sunday and Monday saw a pair of stabbing attacks in Jerusalem’s Old City that left four policemen wounded. And two Jewish Israeli men in their 40s were stabbed separately in a store in a West Bank town near Jerusalem, under near-identical circumstances last week.

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