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Israeli soldier killed in alleged car-ramming attack, Palestinian detained

06:00 Apr 6 2017 near Ofra settlement

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Scene. Published by Maan News

Malik Ahmad Moussa Hamid, 23, from Silwad in northeastern Ramallah was detained by Israeli forces on April 6, 2017 for an alleged car-ramming attack. Published by Maan News
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An alleged car-ramming attack occurred at a junction near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ofra in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Thursday morning, according to the Israeli army, killing an Israeli soldier and lightly injuring another, while the driver, a Palestinian from the village of Silwad, was detained by Israeli forces.

An Israeli army spokesperson identified the slain Israeli soldier on social media as 20-year-old Elchay Teharlev.

According to Israeli media, Israeli soldiers opened fire at the Palestinian driver of the vehicle. The scope of the Palestinian's injuries was not yet known.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma'an several moments later that one Israeli had been killed and the injured Israeli was taken to a hospital for treatment. However, the spokesperson could not confirm if the two were soldiers.

The spokesperson told Ma'an that the "attacker" was detained by Israeli forces, but would not confirm if they had sustained any injuries.
The detained Palestinian was later identified as Malik Ahmad Moussa Hamid, 23, from the village of Silwad in northeastern Ramallah.

Israeli forces reportedly tightened security at the military checkpoint installed at the western entrance of Silwad.

Locals told Ma’an that Hamid had borrowed his father’s car on Thursday morning, before driving in the direction of Ofra.

They described Hamid as a calm and well behaved young man, whose two best friends, Anas Bassam Hammad and Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Ayyad, were killed by Israeli forces two weeks apart in December 2015 while carrying out vehicular attacks, adding that Hamid would frequently talk about his two friends.

The Hamas movement quickly released statements praising the alleged attack, with Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif al-Qanu saying that it was a response to the "continuous Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinians."

Meanwhile, Hazem Qasim, another spokesperson for the movement, said that the "Jerusalem Intifada" -- a phrase used by many Palestinians referring to the uptick in unrest and violence that spread through the Palestinian territory and Israel since October 2015 -- had "proved once more that it was not a passing event, but a Palestinian decision to continue resistance until ending the Israeli occupation."

Qasim added that the "attack proved that the Israeli army and settlers are not secure as long as (Palestinian) rights are denied, our land occupied and our people and holy sites assaulted and violated."

Qasim called on Palestinian leaders to "support the intifada" as a "duty and national priority."

On Saturday, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, after he carried out a stabbing attack that left three Israelis lightly injured.

The slain Palestinian was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 17-year-old Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal from Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.

Witnesses said at the time that more than 25 bullet holes were puncturing the walls of the apartment, while adding that Israeli forces could have easily detained the teenager, "but they executed him."

Israeli forces also shot and killed a Palestinian woman last week after she allegedly carried out a stabbing attack near Damascus Gate in the Old City, in which no Israelis were injured. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinian woman as 49-year-old Siham Ratib Nimr, from East Jerusalem.

Nimr was the mother of Mustafa Nimr, a 27-year-old Palestinian who was killed in September when Israeli border police showered his vehicle with live fire as he was driving near clashes outside of Shufat refugee camp, while he was bringing home food and baby clothes.

The number of Palestinians killed by Israelis has increased to 17 since the start of 2017, 16 of whom have been killed by Israeli armed forces, and another by an Israeli settler. Meanwhile, seven Israeli have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out attacks when they were killed in seven of these cases, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

Meanwhile, Palestinians have often cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel's nearly half century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for such attacks.
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