Police nab would-be attacker in West Bank arrest

Illustrative photo of Border Policemen checking the papers of Palestinians drivers at a checkpoint, May 9 2010. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Israel Police said Monday that officers arrested a Palestinian in the West Bank who was planning to carry out a car-ramming attack against soldiers.

The 23-year-old Ramallah man was detained Sunday morning at a West Bank checkpoint, where police from the Binyamin district were conducting a “stop and search” operation.

A quick inspection revealed the man did not have a driver license and was driving a car stolen from central Israel a month earlier. The suspect was taken for questioning at Binyamin station, where he confessed that he was planning to carry out a car-ramming attack against IDF soldiers “because of the occupation of Palestinian lands.” He also told investigators that he hoped to become a “martyr” by dying in the attack.

The unexpected checkpoint surprised him, he said, and disrupted his plans.

Police did not say exactly where the incident happened or on which road the checkpoint was deployed.

According to police, the man also declared he was a supporter of Fatah, the Palestinian political party headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

After being questioned, the suspect was transferred to Ofer Prison near Ramallah.

On Sunday, a 30-year-old Israeli woman in the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin was lightly injured in a stabbing attack. The attacker, a young Arab Israeli woman from the nearby village of Kfar Kassem, was subdued by a security guard and taken into custody without shots being fired.

That stabbing ended a nine-day stretch without attacks in Israel and the West Bank.

In the past six months since the ongoing wave of terror began in October 2015, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed. Nearly 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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