Security personnel have captured the Hamas terrorist who rammed his vehicle into a group of soldiers from the IDF’s Kedem Battalion Thursday at the entrance to the Jewish community of Beit Arye in Samaria.
Three soldiers were lightly wounded in the attack; a fourth was seriously injured. The battalion had been conducting routine security operations near Beit Arye-Ofarim at the time.
Muhammad Abdel Halim Alhamid Salem, 37, escaped after the attack, abandoning his vehicle in the Arab village of Rantis, where it was later found, and returning to Al-Lubban al-Gharbi, the village where he lives, in Samaria.
A search of the vehicle by IDF soldiers revealed a stun grenade and an M-16 military rifle, making it likely that a more serious terror attack was averted by the IDF presence. The rifle was later discovered to belong to one of the soldiers; the force of the impact when Salem rammed his vehicle into the troops sent the weapon flying into the car.
In a joint operation carried out by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the elite IDF Duvdevan unit, the terrorist was arrested late Thursday night.
Salem is no novice terror; he was placed in administrative detention in 2001 for six months on the strength of past terror activity.
Under initial questioning early Friday, he confessed to having carried out Thursday’s attack in responseto to Arab media incitement. He referred to “the situation in Jerusalem” and the Temple Mount, and the “murder of Palestinian children” in his response.