Panic at Israeli airport as Palestinian man hijacks car, breaks through airport checkpoint

Travelers at Ben Gurion International Airport told to lie on the floor after Palestinian carjacker breaks through airport’s security checkpoint before being shot near Terminal 3.

By World Israel News Staff

A Palestinian Arab man who hijacked a car in central Israel sparked panic at Israel’s largest airport Sunday after he breached a security checkpoint.

The incident occurred early Sunday morning, when a Palestinian Arab man and two accomplices stole a vehicle in the Sharon district of central Israel near Tel Aviv.

In an attempt to elude authorities, the car thief drove on Route 1, the primary traffic artery linking the coastal plain to Jerusalem, which also passes by Ben Gurion International Airport.

The carjacker took the exit towards the airport, and, driving in the wrong lane against traffic, rammed through a barrier at the security checkpoint.

As the hijacked vehicle approached Terminal 3, travelers were warned of a security breach, and asked to lie down on the floor for their own safety, sparking panic in the terminal.

Airport security personnel pursuing the vehicle eventually caught up with it outside of Terminal 3, and were able to shoot and neutralize the car thief, who was lightly wounded.

After being treated on the scene, the car thief and his two accomplices were taken into custody.

“The vehicle was stopped on the road towards Terminal 3,” the Israel Airports Authority said. “The incident ended with the arrest of the vehicle’s passengers. The incident is being investigated.”

This is not the first time a Palestinian Arab driver with a stolen car has breached airport security.

In September, another Palestinian Authority resident who stole a car found himself at the Ben Gurion International Airport’s security checkpoint, ramming through a barrier before abandoning the car and fleeing on foot.

The suspect, a 35-year-old man, was arrested shortly afterwards.