Etzion Head: Shin Bet 'Accident' Claim a Cover-up

Davidi Perl says security sources' claim that the soldiers were not intentionally run over is bogus.

Gil Ronen ,

Site of Gush Etzion terrorist attack
Site of Gush Etzion terrorist attack
Har Hevron Regional Council

The Head of the Etzion Bloc Regional Council Davidi Perl rejected out of hand Thursday evening the claim by security sources – alternately identified as IDF and ISA – that the incident in which three IDF soldiers were run over by an Arab driver Wednesday was an accident.

Perl told Kol Yisrael public radio that the estimate is unreasonable and that he is convinced it is only intended to calm the public and convince it that there is no escalation in terror attacks.

The only possible source for the new version of events, he said, is the interrogation of the driver.

Indeed, news reports have cited the interrogation, and the fact that the driver turned himself in of his own volition, as a main source for the new appraisal.

Perl said that he is familiar with the section of the road where the soldiers were hit near Al Aroub. The soldiers were standing three meters away from the road and the car clearly veered into them, he stated.

The terrorist responsible has been named as Himam Mesalmeh, according to Voice of Israel.

The attack occurred at around 10 p.m. Wednesday night when the driver of a large van ran over a group of soldiers as they were on duty near a guard position. 

The driver then fled from the scene, driving southward. Security forces located the car a short time later, but the driver was nowhere to be found. He turned himself in after his father and brother were arrested.