IDF soldiers at West Bank checkpoint 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
A Palestinian suspected of carrying out a vehicular ramming attack in the West Bank village of Husan that injured four soldiers turned himself in to security forces late Saturday.
On Saturday night, a truck driven by 21-year-old Muhammad Shihadah, from Dheisheh Refugee Camp south of Bethlehem in the West Bank, ran into four IDF soldiers from the Home Front Command who were on foot patrol.
Residents of Dheisheh – where Shihadah is well known due to his moving truck which has “Abu Shihadah Moving Service” written on it – said that he fled the scene and tried to turn himself in to Palestinian police in Bethlehem some two kilometers away.
While Shihadah’s brother was arrested several days ago by Israeli security forces which led to violent clashes in the village, his family denied that the incident was deliberate, maintaining that it was an accident.
Unconfirmed reports said that Shihadah was turned away from PA police so he therefore turned himself in to Israeli security officials where, during interrogation, he claimed to have driven into the soldiers as a result of a car accident.
MK Yehuda Glick posted a statement on his Facebook wall from residents of Husan who claimed that Shihadah fled because “he was afraid that if he stayed he would have been shot by the soldiers – which would probably have happened.
“We have warned the army commanders of the dangers for soldiers walking in the middle of the local streets,” read the post on Glick’s wall. “The streets are dark, with lots of blind bends, and the drivers don’t exactly stay in their lanes – so an accident like this was waiting to happen. We actually reported the problem about soldiers we saw and just missed hitting in the light of day. At night, the situation is so much worse.”
According to the statement, residents of Husan provided assistance to the troops immediately following the incident and called for a Palestinian ambulance.
Two of the soldiers were released from Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Sunday while the other two were kept for observation.
Overnight Saturday the IDF, Border Police and Shin Bet arrested eight wanted Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorist activities, popular terror – such as riots and stone throwing – and violent disturbances against Israeli civilians and security personnel. All suspects have been transferred to security forces for questioning.