(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
An Israeli man died of his wounds Tuesday evening, a day after he was found badly injured on the side of a West Bank road in an incident that has left investigators baffled.
The victim, Avi Ben-Zion, was a 68-year-old farmer from Netiv Hagdud, some 20 km. north of Jericho.
He was airlifted in an IDF helicopter to the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva from the Alon junction suffering from severe head injuries.
His family is donating his organs, according to the Israel Transplant Center.
Police described the incident at the time as a hit-andrun, but on Tuesday night they said they are still unsure if it was a criminal incident such as a traffic accident, a botched robbery that ended with an assault or if Ben-Zion was beaten in a terrorist attack.
The investigation has been taken over by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), police said.
Ben-Zion’s daughter wrote a Facebook post on Tuesday, in which she said that her father was killed in a terrorist attack.
“Yesterday at 2 p.m., terrorists attacked him at Alon junction. He stopped at the junction, they attacked him, pulled him out of the car and beat him on the head till he was in critical condition and then fled,” she wrote.
After the incident, IDF troops and Israel Police officers fanned across the West Bank looking for the suspects, setting up checkpoints in an attempt to locate them.
Police said Tuesday that detectives from the Judea and Samaria police district backed up by IDF troops arrested three Palestinians in the village of Kabalan in the West Bank early Tuesday morning, who are suspected of being involved in the incident.
Judy Siegel contributed to this report.