Traffic accident or failed terror attack?

The IDF spokespersons office said Saturday night they are checking a report that the driver tried to enter Psagot to carry out a stabbing attack but was turned away.

November 14, 2015 22:10
2 minute read.
Scene of possible terror attack in Psagot

Scene of possible terror attack in Psagot. (photo credit: COURTESY ISRAEL POLICE)

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Police are working to determine whether a fatal crash in the West Bank Saturday night was a simple traffic accident or part of a terror plot.

The crash occurred around 7 p.m. when a Palestinian driver hit an Israeli car head-on on a stretch of road between the settlements of Kochav Yaakov and Psagot in the northern West Bank.

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Magen David Adom paramedics said they evacuated three wounded people from the scene who were in the Israeli car – including a 9-yearold boy who was moderately wounded and a 40-year-old woman and 12-year-old boy, both lightly hurt.

The Palestinian driver was ruled dead at the scene, they said.

Shortly after the accident, Judea and Samaria police said it appeared to be a traffic accident, though they were careful to stipulate that they could not rule out terrorism. A little over an hour later, however, a spokesman for the Judea and Samaria police said findings at the scene indicated that the accident was likely to have been terror-related, but that a traffic accident had not been ruled out entirely.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said Saturday night a report that the driver tried to enter Psagot to carry out a stabbing attack but was turned away by a guard at the entrance just before the collision was being investigated.

Among the findings at the scene, was a large knife inside the Palestinian’s car, which had Israeli license plates that did not match the vehicle registration number. Police said a bomb-squad unit called to the scene checked the Palestinian vehicle, but didn’t find anything suspicious.

Police and the Shin Bet said they are examining a number of possibilities, including whether the man was on his way to carry out an attack when the accident happened or that he purposely veered into oncoming traffic in a failed attempt to kill the Israelis in the approaching vehicle.

There have been a series of incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem area over the past year in which police and security forces vacillated in determining whether or not they were intentional ramming attacks or simple road accidents.

In a separate incident on Saturday that is still under investigation, security at the Haifa airport evacuated passengers from its terminal after an Israeli passenger boarding a flight to Eilat set off a security system that detects explosive material.

The Israel Airports Authority is examining the incident.

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