Shin Bet: Palestinian driver ramming soldiers was terror attack

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian driver who rammed his vehicle into soldiers standing at a West Bank traffic junction committed a terror attack, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said.

In the Nov. 5 attack, Hamam Mesalmeh of the West Bank village of Beit Awa, near Hebron, injured three soldiers, one seriously, at the Gush Etzion junction.

Mesalmeh, a member of Hamas, admitted during the investigation to running down the soldiers on purpose and said the attack was planned, according to the Shin Bet.

A security camera filmed the attack.

After Mesalmeh had turned himself in, unnamed Israeli officials said the incident may have been a hit-and-run.

His attack was the second with a vehicle on the same day. The first, in Jerusalem, killed an Israeli Border Police guard.

On Oct. 22, a Palestinian driver plowed into a crowd at a light rail station on Ammunition Hill in northern Jerusalem, killing a 3-month-old girl who was a dual American-Israeli citizen and a tourist from Ecuador.