A terrorist drove his car into a group of people waiting at a bus stop in Gush Etzion on Thursday afternoon, wounding four people.
A 19-year-old US-Israeli yeshiva student was seriously hurt and is in stable condition.
Two high school students aged 16 and 17, as well as 25-year-old yeshiva student, were lightly wounded.
The incident occurred at a bus stop on Route 367 near the entrance to Alon Shvut. According to Gush Etzion Regional Council spokesman Yehuda Shapira, a black car drove by the bus stop, saw people standing there, then turned around and came back, hitting them.
A short security video that was released by the council shows the black car as it raced away from the bus stop. It is also possible to see one of the victims lying on the road.
Yoni Silman, a Magen David Adom paramedic who responded to the call, said they found the victims lying in the road next to the bus stop, all fully conscious and suffering wounds to their lower bodies. Two were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and two to Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Benjamin Frankel, 25, told Walla that he was standing with a friend who saw the car approaching and yelled at him to run, but it was too late.
The vehicle hit both of them, sending his friend into the air and pushing him down to the ground. He used his cellphone to call Alon Shvut for help.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said in a statement on Thursday that the driver had confessed to hitting the passengers intentionally, and that he did so for nationalist reasons.
“This was a terrorist attack that was carried out with intention by the suspect,” said Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld.
The Shin Bet named the suspect as Muhammed Arfaaya, 22, from Hebron.
They noted that a year ago he was released from prison after serving a sentence for throwing stones and carrying a weapon. They said they are also checking whether he was influenced by what they referred to as “incitement on social networking and Facebook.”
Around an hour after the incident, the IDF said that a car matching the vehicle’s description was stopped by soldiers at a checkpoint at Gush Etzion junction near the scene of the attack and that the driver was taken for questioning.
A security officer stationed near the Gush Etzion junction said that, minutes after the driver hit the pedestrians, he pulled over at a bus stop and approached a group of soldiers while holding his stomach. The officer said the soldiers told him the man appeared to be in shock, was speaking incoherently and that IDF medics offered to treat him.
The officer said the soldiers told him they then realized the black car may be linked to the attack, and detained the driver. He said the vehicle – a late model, black Mitsubishi with Israeli plates – had been reported stolen.
The attack occurred at the same bus stop from which three teenagers were kidnapped and killed in June 2014. In November, Dalia Lemkus, 26, was killed in a vehicular terrorist attack at a bus stop directly across the road.
Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl called on the security forces to do more to ensure safety in the area.
“These terrorists do not distinguish between Gush Etzion and Jerusalem. They continue to run people over anyplace they can,” he said.