July 30, 2021

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29-Oct-16: Knives, cars, guns: Israeli security thwarts weekend attacks

Ofra – from the community’s website

A shooter, presumed to be a Palestinian Arab, opened fire yesterday (Friday) towards the Israeli community of Ofra, with little effect other than to prompt a temporary broadening of the local IDF security presence. Soldiers from the IDF’s Kfir Brigade, who have general security responsibility for the sector (Ofra with about 3,200 residents is located on Route 60 about 32 km north of Jerusalem), set up an ad hoc checkpoint. This became the focus of an Arab-on-Israeli attack some hours later.

As Israel National News reports, during the early morning hours of this past Friday night/Saturday morning – the Jewish Sabbath – a driver approached a small contingent of IDF service personnel who were checking a vehicle near Ofra. The driver, an Arab male of about 30, accelerated his vehicle as he got closer, attempting to run the Israelis down, and a warning shot was immediately fired in his direction. Having failed to injure anyone, he stopped the car, jumped out with what turned out to be a knife in his hand, and assaulted the soldiers. Other soldiers then shot him.

(Ynet‘s report says the assailant was in fact equipped with a meat-cleaver. It’s the source of the meat-cleaver picture below which it says it received from the Israel Police spokesperson.)

He was taken to the Hadassah hospital on Jerusalem’s Mt Scopus where he is reported to be in serious condition. None of the soldiers were injured.

Meanwhile a Palestinian Arab news site says the charges against him are mere allegations:

Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire at Ahmad Ayman Hamid, 21, while he was driving his car near the village. Witnesses highlighted that Israeli forces on the main road of the village opened fire at Hamid while he was in his car, and left him to bleed before taking him to a hospital later on. Locals added that Israeli forces raided Hamid’s family home in the predawn hours of Saturday morning and interrogated his family… [“Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian near Ramallah in alleged attack on Israeli soldiers”, Ma’an News Agency, October 29, 2016]

The Ofra assailant’s meat-cleaver [Image Source]

Ma’an’s Arabic language edition [here] quotes a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners Society saying Hamid was hit by three bullets (one in his abdomen, one in his right leg, one in his right shoulder) leaving him wounded in the lungs and liver and with broken ribs. It states his age and home town, and says he is doing better after undergoing surgery in Hadassah hospital in what it disingenuously calls “the town of Isawiya in Jerusalem“. (Isawiya is the Arab neighbourhood closest to Hadassah’s Mt Scopus campus. There are two Hadassah hospital campuses in Jerusalem. The other is in Ein Karem.)

It’s an impressive degree of detail. But sadly it leaves out any mention of how, why or when those bullets entered the young man’s body. Still, it’s unlikely Ma’an’s readers will be scratching their heads.

In another Friday Arab-on-Israeli attack, a 23-year-old Palestinian Arab was arrested while trying to enter the ancient and sacred Cave of the Patriarchs compound in Hebron while armed with a knife.

For reasons rarely disclosed in media reports, he aroused the suspicions of the Israel Border Guard officers stationed at one of the checkpoints who requested that he submit to a search of his body. Israel National News says he objected, but the search was done anyway, and the knife was found. He was handed over to other security officials for further interrogation.

Ynet says the attacker is a resident of Hebron and that “following his arrest and questioning, it was revealed that he planned to carry out a stabbing attack at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

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