August 16, 2019 / 1:16 PM / a month ago

Driver shot dead after ramming car into Israeli civilians in West Bank

A car is seen at the scene of what Israeli military said is a car-ramming attack near the settlement of Elazar in the Israeli-occupied West Bank August 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian driver they said had carried out a car-ramming attack on Friday that injured two Israeli civilians in the occupied West Bank, one of them critically.

Reuters journalists at the scene saw police rolling the body of the driver into a plastic sheet. Palestinian health authorities identified him as a Palestinian national.

An Israeli police spokesman said an officer who had been near the scene opened fire after the attacker rammed his car into people by the roadside near the Israeli settlement of Elazar, close to the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said one of the Israelis, 17, was unresponsive and “in severe condition with multisystem trauma” and that the other, 19, had sustained moderate injuries.

Dozens of Israeli troops and medics were at the scene. The alleged attacker’s vehicle, which bore Israeli license plates which allow greater freedom of movement in both Israel and the West Bank, was overturned by the roadside. Police said the attacker had been driving along a road which weaves past Palestinian towns and Israeli settlements.

Palestinians carried out a wave of car-rammings in the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016, but the frequency of such incidents has since ebbed.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek to establish a state there and in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Two Palestinian youths stabbed an Israeli policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday and were shot by officers, killing one of them.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2014.

Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Peter Graff

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