A Palestinian police officer shot and wounded three solders Sunday morning at the Focus checkpoint leading to Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement, in the first of two attacks on soldiers in the West Bank.
Two of the soldiers were moderately-to-seriously wounded, and one was lightly wounded. Soldiers responding at the scene shot and killed the officer.
Later in the day, a man driving a car with Palestinian license plates approached the Beit Ur A-Tahta checkpoint near Route 443 and attempted to run over IDF soldiers carrying out security missions in the area, but failed to hurt anyone.
Soldiers opened fire and wounded the attacker who was evacuated to the hospital for treatment.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held the Palestinian Authority accountable for the attacks, particularly the one near Beit El, since he said the terrorist was a member of the PA’s security apparatus and received a salary from the PA.
It is the same PA that “stands behind the incitement that stokes the terrorist attacks,” Netanyahu said, adding that PA President Mahmoud Abbas did not even condemn the attack carried out by one of his men.
“I demand that the international community stop the hypocrisy and do everything it its power to pressure the Palestinian Authority to cease its incitement against Israel,” Netanyahu said.
The Palestinian Authority identified the police officer as Amjad Sukkari, 29.
The PA’s official news agency, Wafa, claimed: “Israeli occupation forces opened fire at the youth, Amjad Sukkari, at the Beit El checkpoint north of El-Bireh which resulted in his martyrdom.”
The agency made no reference of the fact that Sukkari was a police officer.
Nor did mention the fact that he had opened fire at IDF soldiers, causing them to respond.
Hours before the attack, Sukkari posted a message on his Facebook page in which he indicated his intention to carry out a terrorist attack.
“Every day, we hear about a death,” Sukkari wrote, referring to the death of Palestinians who carried out attacks against Israelis.
“Forgive me, I might be the next one.”
In another post published shortly before the attack, Sukkari quoted from the famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish: “We have on this Earth what makes life worth living.
“Unfortunately, I don’t see anything worth living for as long as the ‘occupation’ is suppressing us and killing our brothers and sisters.”
On his way to carrying out the shooting, Sukkari took a “selfie” of himself and posted it on his account together with the sentence: “By God’s will, your morning will be one of victory.”
Sukkari, a father of four, was from the village of Jamain, near Nablus. He worked as a bodyguard for the PA prosecutor-general in Ramallah, Ahmed Hanoun.
The IDF believes he used his knowledge of the checkpoint from past trips to carry out the attack, in which he drove to the checkpoint and opened fire from the car.
The Beit El council called on the IDF to close the checkpoint, which is used as an entry point to Ramallah, particularly for Palestinian officials with VIP status and allows them to move through it more quickly.
The checkpoint is located on the sole road into the community, it said. Just a few months ago a Palestinian gunman fired at an Israeli ambulance on that road, just as it left Beit El.
Abbas received a phone call from US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday evening during which the two discussed the tensions in the West Bank, according to Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh.
Abbas stressed during the conversation the need to “stop Israeli incursions, hand over the bodies of Palestinian martyrs and end Israeli accusations,” Abu Rudaineh said.
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