“Bobby-trapped car, booby-trapped car,” this call from Major Wahid, deputy commander of the dessert patrol battalion, saved the lives of his soldiers Friday, after terrorists attempted a combined infiltration at the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Thirteen soldiers were lightly injured.
The quick identification and warning enabled the soldiers to enter their armored vehicles, so that the 660 lbs of explosives aboard the booby-trapped car caused only minor damage and injuries.
“One of the jeeps neared the post occupied by soldiers and exploded nearby it,” said Major Wahid in one of the debriefings. “The soldiers only suffered light injuries. The second jeep neared the assistant battalion commander’s force, but just then the warning came and the soldiers were saved."
The vehicle stopped 20 feet from the force and exploded. According to IDF estimates, the terrorist driving the car was supposed to reach the area where it exploded, kidnap an injured soldier and take him back into Gaza.
Another force present in the sector opened fire and killed the driver.
Major Wahid told his soldiers that as far as he was concerned they should all be given a commendation: “Any IDF officer would have done the same,” Wahid said. “I don’t think I did anything special.”
Six of the soldiers involved in the incident are still hospitalized at the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, one in intensive care and the rest in various surgical units.