i24 News – A stabbing attack and apparent car ramming in the Israeli West Bank city settlement of Ariel left three Israelis dead and another three wounded on Tuesday.
The Palestinian terrorist stabbed a security guard and another person near the entrance to the Ariel Industrial Park before stabbing two more people near a gas station. He then fled in a stolen vehicle toward Route 5, which runs through the West Bank from east to west.
Route 5 is where there is the most contact between Israelis and Palestinians. The main roads are used by both Israeli and Palestinian drivers and have many army positions along them, meaning plenty of possible targets for a terrorist to target.
The assailant drove against the direction of traffic, causing an accident involving several vehicles, before exiting the car and stabbing another person. He was then shot dead by Israeli security forces and an armed civilian.
Medical teams evacuated the victims to Beilinson Hospital in the Israeli central city of Petah Tikva. The hospital said it was treating three people in serious condition, with one victim’s condition reported as unstable.
The 36-year-old security guard was seriously wounded and the other industrial park victim was in critical condition. One of the men stabbed at the gas station, 35, was killed, and the other, a man in his 40s, was seriously wounded.
One of the people at the scene was initially reported by medics to have been a second attacker, but was later determined to be a victim.
Magen David Adom medics also provided medical treatment to those injured in the traffic accident after the assailant fled, including a 50-year-old man who was pronounced dead at the scene, and a 35-year-old who was stabbed on Route 5 and seriously wounded.
Israel’s military is searching the area to ensure that no other attackers fled the scene.
According to Palestinian reports, the assailant was identified as 19-year-old Mohammad Murad Sami Sof from the West Bank village of Hares. He had a work permit to the Ariel Industrial Park and had no previous criminal background.
Reports noted that his father was an activist for Fatah and has been previously imprisoned in Israel.
The assailant has not been claimed by any Palestinian organization, and was possibly a lone wolf. These attacks are seen as less severe than those carried out with an organization behind it. Most lone wolf attacks take place on Route 5 or on Route 60, which runs through the West Bank from south to north, and the Old City of Jerusalem.