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Israel: Suspected Terrorist Rams Car into Israeli Soldiers in Jerusalem as Tensions Build Over Trump Peace Plan

Thursday 6 February 2020, by siawi3


Suspected Terrorist Rams Car into Israeli Soldiers in Jerusalem as Tensions Build Over Trump Peace Plan

Violent attacks are gaining momentum a week after President Trump unveiled his proposals to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian protester Thursday as they searched for the driver of a car that rammed into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem. Photo: MUSA AL SHAER/Agence France-Presse/Getty Image

By Dov Lieber

Feb. 6, 2020 8:49 am ET

TEL AVIV—A Palestinian driver rammed a car into a group of Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem in a suspected terrorist attack that injured 14 people while two Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank, a week after President Trump unveiled his peace plan for the region.

In a separate incident, an unidentified man shot and injured an Israeli policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City, in what Israeli police said was another terror attack. The assailant was shot and killed before the Israeli military reported its soldiers came under fire from an assailant near the town of Qalqilya in the West Bank, lightly injuring one. The Israeli military said it was in pursuit of the assailant.

Thursday’s flurry of violence comes as the Trump administration’s long-awaited peace plan continues to amplify tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, at least in the short term. The Palestinians quickly rejected Mr. Trump’s proposals for a peace pact, saying they heavily favor the Israelis by granting Israel sovereignty over Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority, which governs the Palestinian population in the West Bank, has threatened to cut security ties with Israel in response, while Hamas, the political group that rules Gaza, has called for violent resistance.

Israel’s military said the soldiers attacked in Jerusalem earlier Thursday were on a cultural tour of the city. One soldier was seriously hurt in the car attack, which also injured two civilians. The Palestinian driver fled the scene and is being pursued, the military said.

Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli security forces during the search for the driver of a car who rammed into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem Thursday. Photo: MUSA AL SHAER/Agence France-Presse/Getty Image

Palestinian health officials said the Palestinian killed Thursday during clashes in the West Bank city of Jenin was 19 years old. Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said Israeli soldiers came under attack by a group of Palestinians throwing Molotov cocktails and sniper fire. He said Israeli soldiers shot and killed a sniper in response but couldn’t immediately confirm if the teenager was the sniper.

Israeli soldiers also shot and injured a Palestinian security officer while in Jenin, Mr. Conricus said. It wasn’t clear if the Palestinian officer had first fired at Israeli soldiers or was caught in crossfire and shot accidentally, he said. The officer, named by Palestinian health officials as 1st Lt. Tareq Ahmad Badwan, 25, later died of his wounds.

Mr. Conricus said the Israeli soldiers were in Jenin carrying out a court-ordered demolition of a house belonging to a Palestinian convicted of killing an Israeli.

The West Bank has seen a steady stream of protests by Palestinians against the Trump administration’s peace plan since it was unveiled last week, with some leading to clashes with Israeli security forces. Palestinians say the plan kills any chance for a viable Palestinian state to be established, while paving the way for Israel’s right-wing government to annex lands in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a third national election in a year after two inconclusive votes, announced he would immediately annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements following the publication of the U.S. peace plan. Polls show Mr. Netanyahu’s supporters approve of his plans.

But the Israeli premier put the brakes on his annexation plan after U.S. officials clarified that Israel would need to wait until after a U.S.-Israel committee had surveyed the land after the Israeli election on March 2.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s office released a statement Thursday blaming the Trump peace plan for creating an “atmosphere for the escalation and tension by trying to impose false facts.”

Since 2015, Palestinians have regularly carried out rammings, shootings and stabbings against Israelis when tensions have flared. Eight Israelis were killed in such attacks between March 2018 and August 2019, according to Israel’s foreign ministry. The violence has often revolved around who has control of Jerusalem, which the Palestinians also want as a capital for their future state.

Mr. Conricus said there has been “a rise in the intensity of violence” against the Israeli military in recent days, including the use of Molotov cocktails and IEDs, but wouldn’t connect the violence to the release of the Trump peace plan.

On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man who the Israeli military said had thrown a Molotov cocktail at soldiers during clashes in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qasem Thursday morning called the violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank “a natural reaction to Trump’s liquidation deal,” in a reference to the U.S. president’s peace plan.

Also on Thursday, Israel said it carried out airstrikes against two Hamas military sites after militants in Gaza fired three mortars at Israel. The past week has seen near-daily incidences of mortar and rocket fire aimed at Israel followed by Israeli military reprisals.



Incident comes after Hamas calls for escalation of violence
12 soldiers wounded, 1 seriously, in suspected terror car-ramming in Jerusalem

Security forces find vehicle, but still searching for driver who fled scene after attack near popular entertainment hub; troops were touring capital ahead of Western Wall ceremony

By Judah Ari Gross and TOI staff

Today Feb 6, 2020, 2:41 am Updated at 7:37 am 12

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

At least 12 soldiers were wounded, including one seriously, in a suspected car-ramming terror attack in Jerusalem early Thursday morning, police and medics said.

The incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. on Jerusalem’s David Remez Street near the First Station, a popular entertainment hub. Police said the driver of the vehicle fled the scene and “a large force of officers were carrying out searches.”

The car was later found abandoned in the town of Beit Jala outside Bethlehem, but the driver remained at large as of Thursday morning, police said.

The military initially barred publication of the fact that the victims were soldiers until the families of the wounded could be notified.

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said the troops were members of the Golani Brigade who were at the First Station during a “heritage tour” ahead of an early morning swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall.

Magen David Adom medics said one of the wounded “was in a serious condition, unconscious and suffering major trauma.”

A second soldier was moderately injured with wounds to his limbs. The rest were lightly hurt and were taken to hospitals in the capital.

“When we arrived at the scene we saw chaos; three youths were lying on the sidewalk, and nearby nine others were gathered who had been hurt,” said medic Oz Pollak.

MDA initially said that in total 14 people were injured, but the military later updated this figure, saying that 12 had been wounded in the attack to varying degrees.

Photo: Magen David Adom medics treat the wounded in a suspected car-ramming in Jerusalem on February 6, 2020 (MDA)

According to 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 fled the scene, prompting a large-scale manhunt by Israeli security forces.

It did not appear that the soldiers were able to shoot at the driver during or after the attack, Zilberman said.

“This happened in seconds. We understand that some soldiers tried to put magazines into their guns and tried to go after the car, but this happened quickly,” he told reporters.

The incident comes 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.

The Hamas terror group on Wednesday called on Palestinians to step up confrontations with Israel after Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager, who the IDF said threw a Molotov cocktail at troops during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron

“We call for escalating confrontations with the occupation and its settlers and fighting their assaults against the land and holy sites, especially the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Hamas said in a statement posted on its official website, referring to the name Palestinians use to refer to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has frequently encouraged Palestinians in the West Bank to clash with Israeli security forces and settlers.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry identified the teenager as 17-year-old Mohammed al-Haddad and said that he was shot in the heart.

According to the IDF, al-Haddad hurled a firebomb at soldiers at the entrance to Shuhada Street in the flashpoint city in the southern West Bank.

Palestinians throw stones at an Israeli checkpoint during clashes with Israeli forces in the center of the flashpoint city of Hebron in the West Bank on February 4, 2020. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Small clashes between young Palestinians and Israeli security forces have intermittently taken place in some locations in the West Bank since the publication of Trump’s plan.

Breaking with past US administrations, the plan envisions the creation of a Palestinian state in about 70 percent of the West Bank, a small handful of neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, most of Gaza and some areas of southern Israel — if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, disarm Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip, and fulfill other conditions.

The plan also allows Israel to annex settlements, grants the Jewish state sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and overriding security control west of the Jordan River, and bars Palestinian refugees from settling in Israel.

Both the PA and Hamas have vehemently rejected the initiative, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas calling it “the slap of the century.”

Video here



Car-ramming Attack in Jerusalem: 12 Israeli Soldiers Wounded; Suspect Apprehended

Israeli army says suspect drove toward soldiers as they were walking down the street and fled ? One soldier in serious condition, 11 others lightly injured

by Yaniv Kubovich, Nir Hasson, Hagar Shezaf and Ido Efrati

Feb 06, 2020 6:15 pm

Photo: The scene of the suspected attack on Thursday, February 6, 2020.Ohad Zwigenberg

Twelve Israeli soldiers were wounded overnight Wednesday in what Israeli security forces have described as a suspected car-ramming attack in central Jerusalem.

One of the soldiers, aged 20, was evacuated to receive medical care at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center while in serious condition and unconscious. Eleven more soldiers were evacuated to other hospitals in the city; they were all lightly injured.

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Israeli security forces announced a suspect was arrested on Thursday afternoon, after a coordinated operation between military, intelligence and border police units. The suspect was identified by Palestinian media as Sanad al-Tarman.

The incidents come amid a general uptick in violent incidents between Palestinians and Israeli security forces following the presentation of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan.

Jerusalem’s First Station, where the car-ramming attack happenedGoogle Maps

The driver suspected of carrying out the attack, which took place at around 1:45 A.M. next to Jerusalem’s First Station, fled the scene. Security forces later found his car near the West Bank town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.

The soldiers targeted in the suspected attack were from the Golani Brigade and had been making their way to the area of the Western Wall in the Old City, the Israeli military said.

According to the army, the driver had accelerated toward the group from behind as they were walking down the sidewalk. He quickly fled shortly thereafter, and no shots were fired toward him.

A Magen David Adom emergency service medic who was at the scene, Oz Pollak, said that chaos reigned when he first arrived there. “We saw three young people lying down on the sidewalk and around nine others who were also hit were standing,” he said.

“One person was unconscious. A 20-year-old who suffered from head and body injuries told us a car had come and run them over. With the help of IDF medics and soldiers at the scene we provided life-saving emergency treatment and evacuated,” he said.

Photo: The scene of the suspected attack in Jerusalem, February 6, 2020.Ohad Zwigenberg

On Thursday, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem commented that “resistance to the occupation in the West Bank and Jerusalem is the Palestinian people’s practical response” to Trump’s Mideast peace plan.

Also Wednesday overnight, a 19-year-old Palestinian was killed by live Israeli fire during an Israel Defense Forces operation in the West Bank city of Jenin. Clashes had apparently erupted between Israeli security forces and Palestinians who were in the area. During the altercations seven Palestinians were wounded, among them a Palestinian Authority policeman.