Palestinian car-ramming suspect shot dead as tensions over West Bank rise

The Israeli army says the Palestinian teenager deliberately hit a soldier with his car in a settlement near Hebron.

al-monitor A damaged car and Israeli forces are seen at the scene of an incident near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, May 14, 2020.  Photo by REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma.

May 14, 2020

A Palestinian teen suspected of deliberately ramming his car at an Israeli soldier in the West Bank was shot dead by Israeli forces today.  

The Israel Defense Forces said the suspect “was speeding toward IDF fighters near a military post” before he was “neutralized” near a settlement southeast of Hebron. One soldier was injured and taken to a hospital in Beersheba in moderate condition, the military said. 

The driver, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, was Bahaa Muhammad Abdullah Alawada, a 15-year-old from the town of Deir Samat in the southern West Bank.

The incident follows the shooting death of another Palestinian teen during clashes with Israeli forces in the Al-Fuwar refugee camp near Hebron on Wednesday. The day before, a 21-year-old Israeli soldier died when a rock was dropped on his head during a raid in the West Bank village of Yabad. 

The uptick in tensions comes as Israel prepares to swear in a new government Sunday, bringing more than a year of political deadlock to a close. Led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival-turned-coalition partner Benny Gantz, the incoming government’s agenda includes annexing large portions of the West Bank in a process that could begin as soon as July. 

Palestinians seek the West Bank as part of an independent state, and view Israeli settlements in territory captured during the 1967 Middle East war as illegal. 

In another recent move that angered Palestinians, Israel has approved a settlement project in Hebron near the Ibrahimi Mosque, also known to Israelis as the Tomb of Patriarchs. 

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