Elichai Taharlev, a 20-year-old Israeli Brigade Sergeant, was killed Thursday in a car ramming attack in the West Bank’s Ofra Junction. A 19-year-old soldier was injured in the attack and evacuated to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital, according to a volunteer paramedic cited by Haaretz.
The attack is believed to have been perpetrated by Malik Ahmed Hamed, a 21-year-old from the Palestinian village of Silwad. Hamed was arrested at the scene by Israeli army forces, who questioned the suspect’s family members as well.
According to Haaretz, Hamed’s relatives told security officials his actions were politically motivated, adding that he had spent four months in an Israeli prison after attempting to climb the fence of an Israeli settlement in 2015.
The Palestinian terror group Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said was a “reaction to the crimes of the occupation.”
“The Jerusalem Intifada is continuing its work that will only end with with freedom,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim wrote on Facebook. “Once again, the Jerusalem Intifada proves that it isn’t a passing event, but rather a Palestinian decision to continue the struggle until freedom from occupation.”
Civilians might have been injured in the attack had it not been for security poles installed after a previous car ramming attack, according to United Hatzalah volunteer Nachum Bienenfeld.
Taharlev was posthumously promoted to Sergeant First Class, according to Jerusalem Post. His funeral will take place Thursday at Mt. Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem.