Skip to main content

Palestinian killed after West Bank car ramming as violence rises

Israeli soldiers stand round a damaged military vehicle at the site of a car ramming attack near the town of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank
— Beit Ummar (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

A suspected assailant was killed by Israeli soldiers after a West Bank car ramming Saturday, the army said, in an escalation that threatens to end a relative lull during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan so far.

The Palestinian's death came less than 24 hours after an Arab Israeli allegedly snatched a gun from a police officer at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound and fired it before being shot dead.

The army said a "terrorist" had conducted a "ramming attack adjacent to the town of Beit Ummar" before being neutralised, with a spokesperson confirming to AFP the presumed assailant's death.

Magen David Adom medics said the three men were taken to hospitals in Jerusalem with serious, moderate and light wounds.

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority identified the dead man as Mohammed Baradyah, 23.

Early Saturday, police said they shot dead 26-year-old medical student Mohammed al-Asibi, a resident of the Bedouin village of Hura in southern Israel.

According to police, Asibi had snatched a gun from an officer and fired it at other police officers close to the nearby Chain Gate, an access point to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

Israeli police forces deploy in Jerusalem's Old City after the shooting incident at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound

Passers-by reported hearing gunfire, and an AFP photographer saw scores of police deployed in the Old City at around 1:00 am (2200 GMT on Friday).

Asibi's family has disputed the police account of his death and demanded to see CCTV footage, Israeli media reported.

Raam, the Israeli parliament's Islamist party, rejected the police account of events, noting in a Facebook post the claims from "witnesses" who said Asibi came to aid a woman who was in a scuffle with police. It called for an investigation.

- 'Execution' -

The umbrella organisation representing Israel's Arab citizens announced a "general strike and day of mourning" on Sunday following the "execution" of Asibi.

Police, meanwhile, were standing by their original version of events and issued another statement Saturday afternoon saying that the site of the attack was not covered by surveillance cameras.

A video released by police showed what was described as Asibi milling around the compound alone. Another video showed people at the Chain Gate reacting in fright, presumably to the sound of gunshots.

The police also rejected the notion a woman was involved, saying Asibi "arrived alone", with officers suspicious of his presence at the compound after closing hours.

Thousands of Muslims pack Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound for the second Friday of Ramadan

The shooting occurred hours after tens of thousands of Palestinians had packed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound for the second Friday prayers of Ramadan, which had passed off peacefully despite fears of bloodshed during the holy month.

Israeli police said more than 100,000 faithful had gathered to pray at Islam's third holiest site, built on what Jews call the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.

More than 2,000 police officers had been deployed across the city.

The Jordanian body which administers the mosque compound put the number of worshippers at 250,000.

An upsurge in violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the beginning of the year has raised fears of bloodshed during Ramadan.

Since the start of the year, the conflict has claimed the lives of 88 Palestinians, including militants and civilians, and one Arab Israeli.

Fourteen other Israelis, including members of the security forces and civilians, and one Ukrainian have been killed over the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial