IDF: Gush Etzion Hit-And-Run Was Terror Attack

In dramatic about-turn likely to fuel speculation of a cover-up, military admits soldiers injured by Palestinian truck-driver were targeted.

Ari Soffer, | updated: 18:06

Site of Gush Etzion terrorist attack
Site of Gush Etzion terrorist attack
Courtesy

A senior IDF official has denied claims the army has changed its stance against regarding a hit-and-run earlier this month which left three soldiers seriously injured, insisting that at this point there is no evidence it was a deliberate attack.

"It is important to update the families since we are talking about soldiers and in an area under the military's control," the official said, emphasizing that although "progress has been made" regarding the incident no definitive position has been reached. He further noted that the investigation is being headed by the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shabak), and that all directions were still being investigated.

It follows a Channel Two report that senior IDF officials had informed the families of the three soldiers - who were seriously injured when a Palestinian rammed his truck into them in Gush Etzion - that the incident was indeed a terrorist attack.

A little over two weeks ago, just hours after a car attack in Jerusalem killed a border policeman and seriously wounded several others - including an Israeli student who succumbed to his wounds shortly after - the IDF soldiers were run over by a Palestinian driver as they stood guard in the Etzion Bloc south of the capital.

CCTV footage showed what appeared to be a deliberate attack, with the driver swerving to hit the soldiers at great speed. 

But when, after a series of arrests, the Palestinian driver turned himself in to Israeli security forces, the IDF and police announced they were treating it as a hit-and-run accident - an abrupt about-turn which triggered accusations of a cover up.

Roni Aharoni, whose son Yehonatan was seriously wounded in the incident, told Arutz Sheva his son had told him in hospital immediately after the attack that he was certain the driver had aimed for them - and that he even sped up as he veered towards the group.

Aharoni accused political leaders of trying to cover up the incident in an attempt to deflect public criticism over spiraling Arab violence.

The IDF's flip-flopping over the incident is likely to fuel speculation of a cover-up.




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