Israeli soldier killed in car ramming attack by Palestinian

A Palestinian truck driver, 41, rammed his vehicle into Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint and was later ‘neutralised’.

Israeli soldiers attend the scene at which, according to Israeli police, a truck driver hit several soldiers
Israeli soldiers at the scene where, according to Israeli police, a truck driver hit several pedestrians before being 'neutralised' at Maccabim checkpoint in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on August 31, 2023 [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

One Israeli soldier has been killed and two others injured in a ramming attack by a Palestinian truck driver at a checkpoint between Israel and the occupied West Bank, Israeli police and medical officials said.

The ramming happened at the Maccabim checkpoint, known to Palestinians as Beit Sira, on Thursday, and the driver left the scene immediately, only to be stopped at another checkpoint about six kilometres (four miles) away where he was shot and died, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

According to a statement from the Israeli army, the driver was “neutralised”.

In a separate statement, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant offered his condolences to the family of the soldier killed and praised the security forces “for their determined action” in killing the attacker.

An Israeli police commander described the driver as a 41-year-old Palestinian who had a permit to work in Israel.

Video circulating on social media showed a white truck surrounded by security guards at the second checkpoint as gunshots rang out.

The checkpoint where the truck rammed the soldiers is on a major highway leading from central Israel through the occupied West Bank and into Jerusalem and is next to the Israeli city of Modiin. The checkpoint is typically packed with commuters and security guards or soldiers.

Israeli security and rescue forces work at a checkpoint after a Palestinian car ramming attack
Israeli security and rescue forces at the scene after a Palestinian truck driver hit several soldiers on August 31, 2023 [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

The incident comes a day after a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer after stabbing and wounding an Israeli settler in a light-rail station in occupied East Jerusalem.

Overnight on Thursday, four Israeli soldiers were wounded by an explosive device as they patrolled and escorted Jewish settlers to Joseph’s Tomb in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, a point of confrontation that has regularly witnessed protests by Palestinians.

Israel has intensified its near-nightly raids in the occupied West Bank since early last year, and attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian towns and villages have increased.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since the start of 2023, in what the United Nations said is the deadliest year for Palestinians since it began documenting fatalities in 2006.

At least 30 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks in the same period.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies