US-born soldier injured in Jerusalem car-ramming released from hospital
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US-born soldier injured in Jerusalem car-ramming released from hospital

Ori Hamond, who moved to Israel from San Diego, sustained wounds to his face, chest and pelvis in last week’s attack, in which 11 other soldiers were hurt, 1 of them seriously

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

Medics at the scene of a suspected car-ramming attack in Jerusalem on February 6, 2020. (MDA)
Medics at the scene of a suspected car-ramming attack in Jerusalem on February 6, 2020. (MDA)

An American-born soldier who was moderately wounded in last week’s car-ramming attack in Jerusalem was released from the capital’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem on Wednesday, hospital officials said.

Ori Hamond, who moved to Israel from San Diego, California, was one of 12 soldiers from the Golani Brigade who were injured in the attack outside Jerusalem’s First Station, a popular entertainment hub, as they were walking to the Western Wall for a swearing-in ceremony.

One soldier was severely injured in the attack, sustaining injuries throughout his body. As of Wednesday, he remained hospitalized in Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s intensive care unit in stable but serious condition and was breathing on his own, a hospital spokesperson said.

Hamond sustained injuries to his face, chest and pelvis, requiring multiple surgeries, the hospital said.

He will continue to recuperate at home, Hadassah said.

The attack occurred in the predawn hours of Thursday morning. By that evening, Israeli security forces arrested the suspected terrorist believed to have carried it out, arresting him at the Gush Etzion Junction in the central West Bank, police said.

The Shin Bet said the suspect was a 25-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur who had no history of terrorist activity. He was later identified as Sanad al-Turman.

In the days preceding the attack, Turman had made several Facebook posts possible signaling his intentions, writing in one update: “I’ve found my answers,” and in another: “Whoever seeks peace with the enemy is living under an illusion. Never surrender.”

Sanad Al-Turman, suspect in the car ramming attack near the First Station center in Jerusalem on February 6, 2020, is accompanied by prison guards outside the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on February 7, 2020 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

After the attack, he fled the scene, abandoning his car in the West Bank town of Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem.

According to IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman, an initial investigation into the attack found that the soldiers were standing on the sidewalk next to the station when the car rammed them suddenly at high speed.

The vehicle then quickly reversed and fled the scene. It did not appear that the soldiers were able to shoot at the driver during or after the attack, Zilberman said.

Turman’s brother told the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Friday that the incident was not a terror attack but rather a traffic incident after the driver accidentally mounted the sidewalk in his vehicle.

The car, which had Israeli license plates, was located in Beit Jala, outside of Bethlehem, a few hours after the ramming. Small-scale clashes broke out in the village and the surrounding area throughout the day as Israeli troops searched for the driver.

The ramming came amid a rise in tensions following the release of US President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The IDF has been on a heightened state of alert and has sent three waves of reinforcements to the West Bank, including an additional battalion of combat troops on Thursday.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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