IDF officer seriously injured in West Bank car-ramming attack, attacker shot

A driver rammed his car into a guard before exiting his vehicle in an attempt to strike him with an axe. The soldier, who was on the ground, fired toward the terrorist and killed him.

 The scene of the attack near Beit Horon, Nov. 2, 2022.  (photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH‏)
The scene of the attack near Beit Horon, Nov. 2, 2022.
(photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH‏)

An IDF officer in his twenties was seriously injured in a car-ramming attack near Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

According to the military, the incident took place near the "Bell" checkpoint outside of Modi'in and long Road 443. 

The driver of the car rammed his car into a guard. He then exited the vehicle in an attempt to strike the officer with an axe. The officer, who was on the ground, fired at the terrorist and killed him.

Magen David Rescue Services said that it was providing medical care to the officer who was conscious with limb injuries and evacuated him to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

"The victim was fully conscious with injuries to his limbs. We provided medical treatment that included stopping the bleeding, immobilization of the injuries and pain relief, and rushed him to hospital while administering continuous treatment,” said MDA Paramedics Ishai Rauchberger and Shira Malka.

 Israeli soldiers guard at the 'Bell' Checkpoint, on road 443 near Beit Horon, on January 6, 2019 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israeli soldiers guard at the 'Bell' Checkpoint, on road 443 near Beit Horon, on January 6, 2019 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem celebrated the attack, saying that it was in response to Israel’s “crimes against Al-Aqsa Mosque and our people.”

The attacker was identified as 54-year-old Habes Rayyan from Beit Duqqu. His two sons are known Palestinian Islamic Jihad activists in the Ramallah area. His son Qusai was arrested by Israeli security forces last September and his other son, Assem, also served time in Israeli prison.

“The escalating revolution in the West Bank is expanding its location and goals. The occupation is in a state of real confusion and is unable to contain it,” Qassem was quoted by Palestinian Shehab News Agency as saying.

Politicians reach out

Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent his well-wishes to the officer who “bravely fought the terrorist and shot him, thus saving lives.”

“The security forces are active and alert for any event and any attempt to harm citizens of Israel. We will continue to carry out operational activity to thwart terror attacks,” Lapid wrote on Twitter.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also wished the officer a full recovery and praised his actions following the attack.

“The conduct in the field deserves all praise. The security forces continue their extensive operations against terrorism,” Gantz tweeted.

David Morel's condition is improving 

Also on Tuesday, Hadassah University Medical Center said that the condition of the civilian security guard who was seriously injured during a shooting attack at the Shuafat checkpoint in Jerusalem in early October has improved.

David Morel, who immigrated to Israel from Brazil in 2017, has gradually regained consciousness.

“He still has a long road of treatment ahead of him, but we are satisfied with the progress he has made so far,” says Dr. Guy Rosenthal, director of the hospital’s neurosurgical intensive care unit.

Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, was killed in the attack on October 8. The terrorist, Udai Tamimi, was killed after opening fire at the checkpoint to Maale Adumim two weeks later.

Redeployment of the Yehuda Brigade

On Sunday, the IDF announced that it would redeploy forces to the Yehuda Brigade in the West Bank after five soldiers were wounded in a car-ramming attack near Jericho. That attack came less than 24 hours after a Palestinian terrorist shot and killed a civilian and wounded three others in Hebron.

The troop redeployment comes as concerns have mounted that the escalation in the West Bank has spread from the North, near Jenin and Nablus, to the South.

Operation Break the Wave

The IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Border Police were active on Tuesday night in the West Bank, making ten arrests and confiscating illegal weapons.

Security forces arrested four wanted persons in Hebron: one in the village of Anta who was suspected to be involved in terrorist activities, two in the city of Tulkarm and one in the village of El Adiya.

The ten individuals arrested were taken in by security forces for further questioning. There were no injuries to Israeli security forces. 

Khaled Abu Taomeh contributed to this report.