Hamas praised a car-ramming attack that injured two Israeli soldiers, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
An IDF officer was seriously injured, and a border policeman received light injuries when they were rammed by a car during an arrest operation in the West Bank. The two had been conducting arrest raids in the town of Nima, near Ramallah, when their car broke down.
Magen David Adom paramedic Ahuva Stern said, “When we arrived, they led us to an IDF medical force that treated two young people who were injured by a car. They were both fully conscious. We treated a young man in his twenties who was suffering from extensive systemic injuries. We gave him life-saving medical treatment including sedation and ventilation and evacuated him to the hospital in severe and stable condition.” According to Stern, the second victim suffered less severe injuries to his limbs.
The two soldiers were evacuated to Tel Hashomer hospital in Petach Tikva. The border policeman was released after a medical examination.
According to the IDF, the Palestinians in the car had been throwing Molotov cocktails earlier in the evening. Two of the suspects in the car were killed by Israeli security forces. A third suspect, who was wounded, was arrested. Other explosive devices were found in the car.
A statement from Hamas said that the, “two shaheeds [martyrs] who were killed in the early hours of the morning, in the west of Ramallah, emphasize that the rebellious youth in the West Bank will not rest until they achieve the full rights of our people and our holy places are liberated.” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem added that “the plan to make Jerusalem Jewish will not pass.”
In recent weeks, the Waqf, the council that oversees the Muslim holy place on the Temple Mount, has attempted to change the status quo, with the support of the Jordanian government, at the contested holy site by opening the Gate of Mercy.
Starting in October 2015, Palestinians have carried out over 200 shootings, 200 stabbings, and 73 vehicular attacks, often the result of incitement from their leaders.
While the frequency of these attacks has slowed down over the past two years, the Post reported that Israeli security officials fear that there could be an escalation in violence this year in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as a result of “the ongoing power struggle between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the worsening health of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the release of the United States peace plan and the upcoming Israeli elections.”
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