TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — A Palestinian driver slammed his truck into pedestrians at a busy checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, wounding three people in the latest bloodshed in a relentless cycle of violence to roil the region.
The violence came a day after Israeli police shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who stabbed a man in a Jerusalem light-rail station and after Palestinian militants detonated a bomb near a convoy of Israeli troops escorting Jewish worshippers to a holy site in the West Bank, wounding four Israeli troops.
The unrest is part of more than a yearlong wave of violence that has surged to levels unseen in the West Bank in some two decades.
Israeli paramedics said they were treating three people, one critically, in the aftermath of Thursday’s attack. According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, the driver sped away and was stopped by security guards at a separate checkpoint nearby. His condition was not immediately clear.
Video circulating on social media showed a white truck surrounded by security guards at the second checkpoint as gunshots rang out.
The checkpoint where the truck rammed the pedestrians occurred is on a major highway leading from central Israel through the West Bank and into Jerusalem and is next to the Israeli city of Modiin. The checkpoint is typically packed with commuters and security guards or soldiers.
Palestinian assaults against Israelis have spiked alongside Israel’s intensification of arrest raids in the West Bank since the spring. Some 30 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks against Israelis since the start of 2023.
The near-nightly raids have fueled tensions in the region and have ushered in some of the worst fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank since the last Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s.
Nearly 180 Palestinians have been killed in the violence, about half of them affiliated with militant groups, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Israel says most of those killed were militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions as well as people not involved in the confrontations have also died.
Israel says the raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. Palestinians say the raids undermine their security forces, inspire more militancy and entrench Israeli control over lands they seek for a hoped-for future state.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.