July 21, 2018

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25-Jan-17: Vehicle ramming assault tonight on Jerusalem’s northern edge

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A photo taken at the scene (credit: Elazar Yisraeli) [Image Source

A brief Times of Israel bulletin posted to its website a little after 7:00 pm (Israel time) this evening says:

The IDF is investigating reports of an alleged car-ramming attack in the central West Bank. According to initial reports, the incident occurred at a crossing near Ma’ale Michmash, north of Jerusalem. The driver of the vehicle is said to have been shot. No Israelis have been reported injured.

Over on the Rotter (Hebrew-language) forum, there are several user-contributed posts which indicate what happened. In our words:

  • A pick-up truck with Palestinian Authority license plates drove into a bus stop located next to the gas station near the Israeli community of Maale Michmas (population: about 1,400) just before 7 this evening. 
  • The community is part of the Mateh Binyamin region, located on Jerusalem’s northern edge. 
  • Eyewitness say the Arab driver tried to crush people standing at the bus stop, of which there appear to have been many. But his vehicle was effectively blocked by the presence of protective metal security posts embedded in concrete at the bus stop. 
  • No Israelis were hurt, as far as we can tell. Gunfire ensued as armed passers-by sought to stop the attacker. 
  • He was shot and according to unconfirmed reports is alive but injured.

UPDATE 7:50 pm Wednesday January 25, 2017: Times of Israel says the attacker is dead:

The Israeli civilians who were standing at the bus stop were uninjured. According to the military, the driver swerved from his lane and crashed his truck into the metal bollards surrounding a bus stop near the Ma’ale Michmash settlement in the central West Bank. Israeli troops who were stationed nearby opened fire, killing the Palestinian man. When the soldiers checked the vehicle, they found that the driver had a knife in his hand, the army says. The identity of the Palestinian driver has yet to be revealed.

On the website of the Palestinian Arab news site Ma’an, the latest flash bulletin reads: “Palestinian killed near settlement after alleged vehicular attack“. We think they mean tonight’s attempted murder-by-vehicle “alleged” assault.

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