A Palestinian man was shot Friday morning after he attacked an IDF soldier who was waiting at a hitchhiking post along Highway 90 in the Jordan Valley.
According to an initial investigation, the Palestinian came up from behind and hit the soldier over the head with a rock. A traffic police officer who happened to drive by the hitchhiking post and witnessed the incident shot the Palestinian in the leg.
The Palestinian, who apparently tried to steal the soldier's rifle, sustained moderate gunshot wounds in the incident. The soldier, who was waiting at the hitchiking post alone for a ride home, suffered light injuries.
The soldier and the 20-year-old Palestinian, a resident of the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank, were both airlifted to Haddasah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
The traffic cop, Zacharya Shepso told Ynet, "I was on routine patrol along with another officer. As we approached Tomer (Jordan Valley community) I noticed a woman waving her hands crying for help. I stopped the vehicle and saw two people fighting. At first I didn’t understand it was a terror attack. I stepped out of the squad car and ran towards them. That's when I saw the soldier, who was in uniform, and the terrorist leaning over him with a rock in his hand, repeatedly beating the soldier's head with it.
"There was a lot of blood. Only then did I understand it was a terror attack. I kicked the terrorist. He got up and began attacking me with the rock. I fired a shot in the air, and when that didn’t help, I shot him in the leg. He continued advancing towards me so I fired a few more shots at his leg – that's when the incident ended. I did what was expected of me as a police officer," he said.
David Elhiani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, said "the terrorist's attempt to murder a soldier will not affect daily life in the area. We trust the IDF and the police."
On Sunday a hooded man stabbed an IDF officer in Jaffa. The assailant snatched the officer's rifle, but dropped it as he was being chased by the officer and another man. Police arrested a suspect who fit the description given by eyewitnesses.
It remains unclear whether the attack was criminally or nationalistically-motivated.
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