United Hatzalah ambulance shot while responding to call

Shooting reflects worsening violence in the Arab sector

Police respond to the shooting of a United Hatzalah ambulance near Jatt. (photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH‏)
Police respond to the shooting of a United Hatzalah ambulance near Jatt.
(photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH‏)
United Hatzalah ambulance was fired upon in the predawn hours of Saturday morning while responding to an incident near Jatt.
According to Hatzalah, unknown assailants shot the ambulance while it was driving, hitting the vehicle, though it is unclear whether the ambulance was the intended target.
"The ambulance sustained a hit in the rear window and the bullet penetrated the ambulance and struck the stair chair that is hung by that window," United Hatzalah's Baka al-Gharbiya chapter head Muhammed Abu Tuama said in a statement. 
"Thankfully, the team of volunteers inside the ambulance was not injured."
A bullet hole is seen on the exterior of a United Hatzalah ambulance, which was shot near Jatt. (Photo credit: United Hatzalah)A bullet hole is seen on the exterior of a United Hatzalah ambulance, which was shot near Jatt. (Photo credit: United Hatzalah)
A bullet hole is seen in the interior of a United Hatzalah ambulance, which was shot near Jatt. (Photo credit: United Hatzalah)A bullet hole is seen in the interior of a United Hatzalah ambulance, which was shot near Jatt. (Photo credit: United Hatzalah)
While everyone emerged from the incident unscathed, it could have been a lot worse.
"The bullet could have caused an explosion inside the ambulance due to the oxygen tanks stored... right near where the bullet struck," Abu Tuama explained. 
While the circumstances behind the shooting remain unclear, it reflects the ongoing problem of violence in Israel's Arab sector, with at least 77 Arab-Israelis having been murdered in 2020 alone. Numerous plans have been brought forward by governments over the years, including 
a recent five-year plan introduced last Monday, to attempt to deal with the surge of Arab sector violence. However, the crisis remains a persistent and worsening trend.

"It is very sad for me to see incidents of violence rise across the Arab population," Abu Tuama said. 
"Residents have been suffering for a long time from murders, injuries and acts of violence perpetrated without end. Now even ambulances are being struck by this violence. If this trend is not stopped, I will not be surprised to see even more dangerous incidents occur."
Maayan Hoffman contributed to this report.