Terrorist shot dead, guard seriously wounded in ramming attack

Teen terrorist reportedly argued with father, stole family car, and slammed into checkpoint at 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A teenage terrorist was behind a car ramming attack at the Te’enim checkpoint near Tulkarem overnight Monday, slamming into a security guard at an estimated 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour.

The ramming attack marked the fifth major terror incident in Israel in the last two weeks, including a stabbing in Jerusalem on Saturday and the Old City shooting spree in late November which left Eli Kay dead.

The perpetrator, who was said to be either 15 or 16 years old by various Hebrew language media reports, was fatally shot at the scene.

The wounded security guard was rushed to Sheba – Tel HaShomer Medical Center in Ramat Gan. Originally listed in critical condition, he is now conscious and expected to survive.

The teen terrorist, named by Arabic language media as Muhammad Nidal Younis, was taken to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where he was pronounced dead.

Arabic news Shehab Agency reported that Younis’ family home in Nablus was raided by the IDF overnight.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered that all checkpoints in Judea and Samaria operate at a high-alert emergency level in the wake of the incident.

“The Defense Minister ordered a comprehensive investigation, that the lessons be learned and level of alertness and readiness be raised in all crossings in the area of Judea and Samaria,” Gantz’s office said in a statement.

Ynet reported that Younis’ attack was primarily motivated by what appeared to be a personal disagreement with his father. Younis, who did not have a driver’s license nor permit to enter Israel, reportedly argued with his father, took his car without permission, then slammed into the checkpoint at a high rate of speed.

Erez Sidon, a senior official from the Defense Ministry’s Crossing Points Authority, told Israel Hayom that the vehicle “arrived at the checkpoint with insane speed, swerved off its lane, got on the sidewalk and tried to hit three [road] workers who were there. After hitting one of the security guards, his colleagues neutralized him [the driver].”

Sidon added that the checkpoint is currently staffed and operated by civilian security contractors, not the IDF.

Defense Ministry Director-General Amir Eshel said in a statement that the checkpoint’s staff had mitigated the risk posed by the terrorist appropriately.

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“This is a terrible attack and we all wish a speedy recovery to the wounded guard. The guards at the crossing acted quickly, just as we train them, sought to engage, hit the terrorist and ended the event within seconds. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and will examine further steps to improve the protection for the guards,” he said.”