At least three Israelis were killed and three others wounded when a Palestinian man went on a violent rampage near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.
The attack took place at several locations near the Israeli settlement of Ariel. The Israel Defense Forces and Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) rescue service said a man first approached a security checkpoint at the entrance to the Ariel industrial area and stabbed a man there before going to a nearby gas station , where he stabbed two more Israelis. One was declared dead on the spot while the other later died during treatment.
The IDF said the assailant then stole a car and began driving down the highway, causing a multi-car accident that killed another Israeli. The IDF said that after the accident, the attacker got out and stabbed other people before an IDF soldier at the scene shot and killed him.
Tuesday’s deadly attacks brought to 28 the number of people killed on the Israeli side in clashes with the Palestinians this year. That’s equal to the number killed in 2015, the year of the so-called stabbing intifada, and the deadliest year on Israel’s side since then, according to Israel Security Agency figures.
This year has been the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2015. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 146 Palestinian civilians and terrorists have been killed in the West Bank in 2022.
Israel claims most of the Palestinians killed were either suspected terrorists who were targeted in the raids or people involved in violence against its troops, but human rights groups say dozens of unarmed civilians have also been captured.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the attacker as 19-year-old Muhammad Murad Sami Souf, from the Palestinian village of Haris, not far from Ariel where the attack took place.
The IDF said the search was on for a second person “suspected of helping the terrorist”.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid condemned the “despicable terrorists” who carried out Tuesday’s attack.
“We are fighting terrorism relentlessly and with the full might of the IDF, Shin Bet and all security forces. In recent times we have been successful in dismantling the vast infrastructure and organizations, but we have to wage this war anew every day. Our security forces work round the clock to protect Israeli citizens and attack terrorist structures anywhere and anytime.
Tuesday’s attack came a day after Palestinian officials said a 15-year-old girl was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers while riding in a car with a man who was later arrested by security forces.
According to the IDF, during an “anti-terrorist operation” in the West Bank city of Bitunia, soldiers identified a suspicious vehicle that was approaching them. The troopers signaled the driver to stop, but he sped towards them. In response, the jawans opened fire on the vehicle. Hits were identified. The incident is being reviewed.”