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2 Palestinian motorcyclists severely injured in accident at Israeli army checkpoint

Jan. 3, 2017 6:00 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2017 10:31 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian motorcyclists were severely injured and two Israeli border police officers -- who were guarding the checkpoint on foot -- were lightly to moderately injured in an accident involving two motorcycles at an Israeli military checkpoint Tuesday evening in the northernmost occupied West Bank district of Jenin. A third Palestinian was also lightly injured.

Israeli media sites had initially reported the incident to be a deliberate vehicular attack, though Israeli authorities confirmed shortly after that it was an accident.

Israel's emergency medical service Magen David Adom (MDA) said they were providing medical treatment to two Palestinian motorcyclists who were in severe condition as a result of the accident, and were eventually evacuated to Israel's HaEmek hospital.

A 20-year old Israeli woman suffered light-to-moderate "limb injuries," while a 20-year-old Israeli man was in a light condition for a face injury, MDA said earlier, who were evacuated to hospitals via helicopter.

A statement in Arabic from Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that two heavy motorcycles were involved in the incident -- one carrying two Palestinians and another carrying one. She said that "three Palestinians were injured with wounds reported to be between light and critical," suggesting that the two evacuated by MDA suffered critical injuries and a third Palestinian, who may have not been treated, sustained light injuries.

"Several other heavy motorcycles also crossed near a border guard officer before the incident -- some four to seven motorcycles," she added, correcting an earlier statement that said four motorcycles were involved in the accident itself after three of them "fled" the scene while the fourth bumped into the officers after they were told to stop for a search.

The incident occurred at a so-called "flying checkpoint" -- a non-temporary Israeli military checkpoint -- that had been set up between the city of Jenin and the al-Jalama checkpoint, which Palestinians use to cross into Israel from the northern occupied West Bank.
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