Thursday, April 06, 2017

06-Apr-17: An Arab-on-Israeli vehicle ramming attack north of Jerusalem this morning

At the scene, near Ofra, this morning
[Image Source]
There has been another Arab-on-Israeli vehicle-ramming attack this morning (Thursday). Two young Israelis, standing on a sidewalk on Route 60, a major north-south highway, at Ofra Junction near Ramallah were struck when a driver steered his car deliberately into them with considerable force in what the IDF, quoted by Times of Israel, is identifying as a terror attack.

From the Magen David Adom ambulance service, it's reported that both Israelis are injured, one critically. The BBC says
Witnesses told Israeli media that the car approached a bus stop at the Ofra junction, on the Route 60 highway north-east of Ramallah, and then accelerated towards the two Israelis waiting there. In late 2015 and 2016, such attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs happened with near-daily frequency but the rate has dropped in recent months. [BBC News, today]
The driver of the vehicle was “neutralized” on the spot according to the ambulance officials. Social media sources (in Hebrew) suggest the attacker was injured, not killed, inside his car.

The injuries to at least one of the victims sound very serious. The site of the attack looks (in the photo on the right) to be a bus stop.

Ofra, an Israeli community located some 8 kilometers south of biblical-and-modern Shiloh, was re-established in 1975 on the ruins of a Jordanian army base which had occupied the area since the war of 1948. Today it is home to about 4,000 Israelis.

UPDATE Thursday April 6, 2017 at 10:40 am: It's reported, tragically, that one of the two young Israeli victims has died of his injuries. The other is currently getting emergency treatment at Hadassah Mt Scopus hospital. The Arab driver, not dead though probably shot, is in the hands of the IDF. The Palestinian Arab mouthpiece, Ma'an News Agency, in its English-language news report calls the attack "alleged" as it usually does. Ma'an's Arabic language edition is less coy (as it usually is), quoting Hamas sources who have congratulated the attacker for his "achievement".

UPDATE Thursday April 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm: Times of Israel, quoting the IDF, says the young man murdered by the attack-driver this morning is Elhai Tahar-Lev, 20, from Talmon, may his memory be for a blessing. His father is a prominent and highly regarded rabbi in the Tzohar and Midreshet Lindenbaum communities. May the A-mighty help them deal with the difficult grieving ahead.

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