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Israeli soldier killed in alleged car-ramming attack, Palestinian detained

April 6, 2017 10:10 A.M. (Updated: April 8, 2017 7:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and detained a Palestinian after he carried out an alleged car-ramming attack at a junction near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ofra in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Thursday morning, leaving an Israeli soldier killed and another lightly injured.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the injured Israeli was taken to a hospital for treatment, and later identified the slain soldier as 20-year-old Elchay Teharlev.

The spokesperson told Ma'an that the "attacker" was detained by Israeli forces, but would not confirm reports from Israeli and Palestinian media that said he had been shot. He was later identified as 23-year-old Malik Ahmad Moussa Hamid, from the village of Silwad in northeastern Ramallah.

In the wake of the incident, Israeli forces reportedly tightened security at the military checkpoint installed at the western entrance of Silwad. 

Locals told Ma’an that Hamid had borrowed his father’s car on Thursday morning, before driving in the direction of Ofra. They described Hamid as a calm and well behaved young man, whose two best friends, Anas Bassam Hammad and Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Ayyad, were killed by Israeli forces two weeks apart in December 2015 while carrying out vehicular attacks, adding that Hamid would frequently talk about his two friends.

The Hamas movement quickly released statements praising the alleged attack, with Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif al-Qanu saying that it was a response to the "continuous Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinians." 

Meanwhile, Hazem Qasim, another spokesperson for the movement, said that the "Jerusalem Intifada" -- a phrase used by many Palestinians referring to the uptick in unrest and violence that spread through the Palestinian territory and Israel since October 2015 -- had "proved once more that it was not a passing event, but a Palestinian decision to continue resistance until ending the Israeli occupation." 

Qasim added that the "attack proved that the Israeli army and settlers are not secure as long as (Palestinian) rights are denied, our land occupied and our people and holy sites assaulted and violated." 

Qasim called on Palestinian leaders to "support the Intifada" as a "duty and national priority." 

On Saturday, Israeli forces shot and killed 17-year-old Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, after he carried out a stabbing attack that left three Israelis lightly injured. Witnesses said that more than 25 bullet holes were puncturing the walls of the apartment, while adding that Israeli forces could have easily detained the teenager, "but they executed him."

Israeli forces also shot and killed 49-year-old Siham Ratib Nimr last week, after she allegedly carried out a stabbing attack near Damascus Gate in the Old City, in which no Israelis were injured. 

The woman was the mother of Mustafa Nimr, a 27-year-old Palestinian who was killed in September when Israeli border police showered his vehicle with live fire as he was driving near clashes outside of Shufat refugee camp, while he was bringing home food and baby clothes.

The number of Palestinians killed by Israelis has increased to 17 since the start of 2017, 16 of whom have been killed by Israeli armed forces, and another by an Israeli settler. 

Meanwhile, seven Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out attacks when they were killed in seven of these cases, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

Meanwhile, Palestinians have often cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel's nearly half century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for such attacks.

Malik Ahmad Moussa Hamid, 23, from Silwad in northeastern Ramallah was detained by Israeli forces on April 6, 2017 for an alleged car-ramming attack.
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