Taxi driver shot in Kalkilya

Holon resident says Palestinian passengers shot him, tried to rob him.

pa police destroy cars (photo credit: AP)
pa police destroy cars
(photo credit: AP)
A Jewish taxi driver from Holon told soldiers at the Zofim checkpoint that he was shot by Palestinians after taking them as passengers to the Palestinian city of Kalkilya. The taxi driver, approximately 35 years old, suffered gunshot wounds to his shoulder and leg. He was treated by MDA teams at the checkpoint, then taken in moderate condition to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. The driver said that he had taken two Palestinian passengers to the northern West Bank city of Kalkilya, just inside the Green Line, and, upon arrival in the city, the passengers shot him and tried to rob him. He said that, after being injured, he continued to drive until he reached the Zofim checkpoint, where he alerted authorities to the incident. The taxi was recovered near the checkpoint, where the taxi driver apparently parked it. Police are currently investigating the incident. After the taxi driver was admitted to the hospital, police arrived at the hospital to interview the driver in order to clarify where he began his journey, how he came to pick up the Palestinians, and the conditions surrounding the shooting. Thursday evening's event was just the latest in a long chain of recent reports of carjackings in the West Bank. Earlier Thursday, Judea and Samaria Police said that a Palestinian reported that four assailants carjacked his white General Motors-made vehicle near the Emmanuel Junction in Samaria, less than 20 kilometers from the shooting that occurred hours later. The vehicle's owner said that inside the vehicle was cash in the sum of NIS 750,000. The identity of the assailants, who allegedly fled south with the vehicle, is still under investigation. The owner of the vehicle said that they were Jewish. On Wednesday, a Beit El resident in his 50s was driving from Jerusalem toward his home when a car slammed into him from behind near the West Bank settlement of Adam. The man got out of his car to inspect the damage when someone got out of the other car and jumped into the victim's vehicle and sped off, Judea and Samaria Police reported. The owner attempted to hang onto his car as it was being stolen, but at some point he lost his grip and slid off. The injured man was taken to Hadassah Ein Karem for treatment. Police were searching the area for the stolen vehicle, which most likely was driven into Ramallah. Palestinian police recently began confiscating stolen Israeli cars in the West Bank - especially in Nablus - and have beefed up their forces to crack down on growing lawlessness. Palestinians working with Israeli crime rings steal thousands of cars from Israel every year although Israel's construction of a barrier along the outskirts of the West Bank has greatly reduced the trend, Palestinian police say. The police estimate that thousands of Israeli stolen cars are located in Nablus. Israeli police want their Palestinian counterparts to do more. "A large amount of stolen vehicles find their way into the Palestinian areas," Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. "The Palestinian authorities are not doing enough against fighting crime." The police informed Palestinian terrorist groups, which oversee theft rings and possess illegal weapons, that they also intend to start collecting unlicensed guns, police said. The factions were told, in the meantime, to obey a recent order to keep their weapons out of the open, the police said. Israel demanded that the Palestinian Authority confiscate the guns and dismantle terror groups. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has thus far preferred to co-opt the groups so as not to touch off what he says could become a civil war. "We sat with all the factions and told them that we are bringing extra forces so that we can organize affairs - like stolen cars, traffic violations and illegal weapons - and take control of the streets," Dehan Abdullah, a senior police commander in Nablus, said Saturday. "We will impose total order."