An IDF soldier was murdered and five others were wounded in a terror ramming by a Palestinian driving a truck at the Maccabim checkpoint on the central Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Route 443 highway on Thursday morning.
Three of the injured people were also soldiers, the IDF confirmed. Later on Thursday, the murdered soldier was identified as Sergeant Maxim Mulchanov, a lone soldier from Ukraine.
They were hit on their way to a bus stop on the Israeli side of the checkpoint while making their way to an IDF “fun day” in Modi'in.
The terrorist, who had a worker’s permit, rammed into the soldiers at the first checkpoint at Maccabim and then drove another 10 kilometers in an effort to ram into a second checkpoint at Hashmonaim.
He was killed by security forces at the Hashmonaim junction after the soldiers had been warned by security personnel that the terrorist was on his way, and they were prepared to kill him.
The defense ministry security officials identified the car as it approached, including noticing broken glass on the car from the ramming.
The terrorist had passed regularly through the crossing to get to a construction site in the Gan Yavne region, where he worked.
The terrorist crossed into Israel on foot with the work permit at 5:55 a.m. on his way to work.
Later, he acquired the use of an Israeli car under unclear circumstances.
The terrorist traveled to various places in Israel during his multiple hours in Israel, including in Gedeirah.
Terrorist killed by security forces 10 kilometers away from the scene
On his way to the Maccabim checkpoint, he was driving from West to East on Route 443.
When he saw the soldiers on the side of the highway, the terrorists carried out a circle to hit the soldiers.
"I extend my condolences to the family of the victim of this morning's vehicular attack and wish a speedy recovery to the injured," Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said after receiving a briefing on the morning's event. The defense minister will hold a security assessment. "This was an attack with severe consequences."
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich arrived at the scene of the attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he, too, was being briefed on the details.
Some of the wounded were evacuated to Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. Others were treated in the field by Magen David Adom. According to the first responders, injuries included abdominal obstruction as well as wounds to the limbs.
Three were sent to Shamir Medical Center in light condition. Two were released soon after with the third set to be released later in the day.
The terrorist was evacuated to Sheba but eventually died. The IDF said he entered Israel from the West Bank on feet earlier in the morning using a work permit. In the hours between then and the attack, he acquired the truck under unclear circumstances and traveled to various places in Israel.
In response to the attack, Abdel-Latif al-Kanou, the spokesman for the Hamas movement, said: "The occupation army and its settlers will continue to pay the price for the crimes of their extremist government. The resistance of our people will continue to escalate."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was going to hold a situation assessment at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv as this was the fourth terror attack in 24 hours.
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi held a situational assessment on Thursday evening along with other top IDF generals. "We are increasing our countermeasures and defense activities across the West Bank, and we will draw immediate conclusions from this incident," Halevi was quoted as saying.
IDF arrested 150 terror suspects in the last week
Sensing criticism at the failure to stop four terror attacks in the last 24 hours, the IDF later noted it had carried out over 2,000 arrests in 2023, around 150 terror or public disorder suspects in just the last week since the Huwara and Beit Hagai attacks.65 of those recently arrested belonged to terror groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad..
Further, the IDF said that over 470 terror attacks had been stopped.
Last week, security forces seized 27 illegal weapons and this week they seized an additional 12.
Also, security forces destroyed dozens of improvised explosives from Azvvadah and seven machines used for terror purposes in Beitunia.
This is a developing story.