Two car-ramming attempts reported in West Bank; one suspected attacker shot dead

In separate incidents, one near Hebron, the other in Jordan Valley, Palestinians allegedly try to run over border guards

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Illustrative: Border Police officers guard a checkpoint in the West Bank on January 26, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Illustrative: Border Police officers guard a checkpoint in the West Bank on January 26, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Israeli border guards shot dead a Palestinian driver who they said tried to ram his car into them outside of Hebron on Tuesday morning.

In a separate incident, in the northern Jordan Valley, a Palestinian man allegedly accelerated his car toward a group of Border Police officers. The troops fired warning shots into the air, and the suspect stopped and was arrested, police said.

The police said both cases were being investigated.

The Border Police officers in the town of Idhna, outside Hebron, were standing guard as members of the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration, which oversees day-to-day activities in the West Bank, were taking part in an effort to crack down on the illegal burning of garbage.

According to police, the Palestinian suspect drove through a checkpoint the border guards had set up, hit a security vehicle with his car and then “accelerated toward a Border Police officer.”

The border guards opened fire at the vehicle, fatally wounding the suspect, who was identified by Palestinian authorities as 27-year-old Omar Hassan al-Awawdeh.

No Israeli troops were injured.

A van used in a suspected attempted car ramming against Israeli border guards in the Palestinian village of al-Jiftlik in the northern Jordan Valley in the West Bank on December 11, 2018. (Israel Police)

In the village of al-Jiftlik in the northern Jordan Valley, the border guards were guarding Civil Administration troops who were knocking down illegally constructed buildings when the Palestinian suspect drove toward them.

Police said the suspect was a 30-year-old man from the village.

He was handed over to the Shin Bet security service for further questioning.

The two seemingly unconnected incidents came two days after terrorists in a white car opened fire at a group of Israelis standing at a bus stop outside the Ofra settlement, near Ramallah, injuring seven of them, including a pregnant woman who was seriously injured.

The pregnant woman’s baby was delivered prematurely by C-section. While the mother’s condition has improved, the infant boy is still in critical condition at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The suspects fled the scene, prompting an ongoing manhunt by Israeli security forces.

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