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Israeli forces detain Palestinian in Salfit car ramming attack

Dec. 11, 2015 10:26 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 11, 2015 7:53 P.M.)
(Magen David Adom)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian allegedly responsible for Thursday's car ramming attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Aryeh-Ofarim in the central occupied West Bank's Salfit district, which injured four Israeli soldiers, was captured and detained by Israeli forces overnight, Israel's army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson said Muhammad Abdelhalim Abdel al-Hamid Salem, 37, was detained overnight Thursday in a joint operation between the Israeli army, Shin Bet, and police forces.

The spokesperson alleged that Salem was a "Hamas operative with a criminal record," adding that "during the initial investigation, Salem confessed to committing the attack as a result of incitement in the local media."

The Israeli authorities have accused Palestinian political leaders and media of inciting violence since upheaval swept the region at the start of October, claims that the Palestinian Authority have denied.

Israeli media reported that Salem had spent six months under administrative detention -- internment without trial or charge -- in 2001, but noted that he had not been detained since.

On Thursday, Magen David Adom, Israel's emergency medical service, said medics were treating four victims of the car ramming, one of whom was severely injured and another three mildly. One of the soldiers was reportedly released from the hospital on Friday.

The attacker fled the scene following the incident, and Israeli forces immediately began a search operation to find the suspect.
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