Four Border Guard officers were lightly injured Friday after being run over by a Palestinian driving a pickup truck in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. The driver was shot, and quickly died of his wounds. His body was later snatched from the hospital and he was buried at a cemetery near Temple Mount.
After the incident, the assailant attempted to escape by foot and was shot by a Border Guard force stationed in the area. He was critically wounded and died shortly afterwards. Police suspect the incident was nationalistically motivated.
According to an initial investigation, the Palestinian spotted Border Guard officers arriving at the neighborhood following warnings of upcoming riots. Soldiers belonging to a Border Guard training base were walking single file when the driver began speeding and driving towards them.
Some of the policemen managed to jump to the side, but four of them were hit by the vehicle and evacuated to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital. The company commander began chasing the assailant, who tried to flee the scene. According to the police, he was shot after failing to obey the police's call to stop.
The driver was evacuated by the Red Crescent to the al-Maqasid Hospital in east Jerusalem. Another passenger who was in the car with him was apparently injured by stones hurled at the road earlier and was evacuated to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital. The police are looking into his version that the driver who ran over the officers was trying to evacuate him to receive medical treatment.
Later Friday, the driver's body was snatched from the hospital, and he was laid to rest at a cemetery near the Temple Mount.
Following the incident, thousands of Police and Border Guard officers were deployed throughout the capital, particularly in its east, for fear of riots and additional attempted attacks. They set up temporary road blocks to inspect vehicles entering the city.
Corporal Shai Hazan, one of the officers injured in the incident, said from his hospital bed: "We were walking single-file towards the exit from Wadi Joz, and we saw a Toyota pickup truck slowly approaching us. He suddenly stepped on the gas pedal and sped up his car, flinging me and my comrades to the side."
Hazan was wearing a bullet-proof vest and a helmet at the time of the incident. He said he barley remembers what happened after being hit. "He rammed into us, I was tossed in the air from the force of the blow, and afterwards, everything was blurry," he said.
Palestinians have attempted to run over members of the security forces several times in the past. In April 2009, two policemen were lightly hurt after being hit by a Palestinian car near the Hizme checkpoint, north of Jerusalem. The driver was arrested and taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet.
A week earlier, a resident of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher tried to run over members of the security forces during the sealing of the home of a terrorist who murdered three people
in the first bulldozer attack in Jerusalem. Three Border Guard officers were lightly injured, and the assailant was shot and died of his wounds shortly afterwards.