Israel declares Palestinian car-ramming injuries paramilitary

The police reported Thursday that a Palestinian driver hit and moderately injured a member the Israel’s Border Police at a major checkpoint north Jerusalem overnight.
The suspect was a 22-year old from Qalqilya, in the occupied West Bank. According to the police, it was a car-ramming incident.

Border Police were removing illegal structures near Qalandia checkpoint. This is the main road connecting Jerusalem and Ramallah in West Bank.

In recent years, Palestinians have committed dozens of stabbing and shooting attacks on vehicles. However, rights groups and Palestinians claim that some of the car-rammings were accidental and accuse Israel of using excessive force.

A separate incident saw a Jewish settler attack an Israeli soldier and a military officer with pepper spray at a settlement outpost near the occupied West Bank. This is the latest in a string of attacks by settlers against Israeli security forces.

According to the military, the soldiers were treated at the scene by medical personnel. It did not elaborate on the matter. The military declined to confirm whether any person was taken into custody in the attack and referred questions to police who didn’t immediately respond to a request.

In response to Israeli authorities’ attempts to limit settlement expansion, hard-line settlers have clashed and vandalized Palestinian property.

A small Palestinian village was attacked by stone-throwing Jewish settlers late last month. They damaged homes and cars and injured a four-year old boy. Video footage captured Israeli soldiers standing alongside the settlers and apparently doing nothing to stop them.

Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in West Bank settlements that look like small towns and suburbs. However, more radical settlers have established dozens of illegal outposts even though they are permitted. All settlements are considered illegal by the Palestinians and the majority of the international community as an obstacle to a two state solution to the conflict.

The military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi condemned the recent settler attacks and said that “criminal behavior towards IDF soldiers by civilians is intolerable” and needed to be swiftly enforced to the full extent possible of the law.

More than 2.5 million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank under Israeli military control. The Palestinian Authority has limited autonomy in towns and cities. Israeli citizenship is granted to the settlers, who are subject to Israel’s civil justice system.