Israeli police accidentally kill young girl after ‘ramming attack’ on West Bank checkpoint

Israeli police accidentally kill young girl after ‘ramming attack’ on West Bank checkpoint
  • PublishedJanuary 8, 2024

The child was in a van in front of a car which appeared to drive into officers at the crossing point close to Jerusalem. She died after police fired on the vehicle.

Israeli police have accidentally killed a young Palestinian girl after opening fire on a car suspected of a ramming attack, emergency services in Israel have said.

The border police said they fatally shot the girl, reported to be three or four years old, after firing at a couple in a car who, they said, rammed into two Israeli officers at a West Bank checkpoint.

The unidentified girl was in a van in front of the car which ploughed into the crossing near the Palestinian village of Biddu, just northwest of Jerusalem on Sunday evening.

Video footage from a security camera appeared to show a white car being driven into a pair of Israeli police officers at the checkpoint.

Police then chased after the vehicle, opening fire.

They hit a man and a woman inside the car, along with the girl in the vehicle in front, police said.

Israeli paramedics gave her age as three but Palestinian sources told the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, that she was four.

She was treated at the scene but pronounced dead by Israeli doctors, the Israeli ambulance services said, without giving the cause of death.

A female officer in the paramilitary border police was also lightly wounded, paramedics said.

Israeli security forces are seen at a West Bank checkpoint, near the village of Biddu, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. Israeli police on Sunday opened fire at a pair of suspected attackers who rammed their car into a West Bank checkpoint, fatally shooting a young Palestinian girl in an adjacent vehicle, according to police and medical officials. The two suspects were also shot, while a young police officer was lightly hurt. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Image:The West Bank checkpoint where the girl was killed. Pic: AP

The Israeli police said in a statement a car with a man and a woman stopped at a crossing near Jerusalem and committed a ramming attack against border police, who responded with live fire.

The suspected attackers were “neutralised”, the police said, without providing details.

Palestinian sources told WAFA that the couple were also killed in the shooting.

‘Dire situation’ elsewhere in West Bank after clash

Earlier, the Israeli army said one of its helicopters attacked Palestinians who were throwing explosives at Israeli vehicles in Jenin, also in the West Bank.

Seven Palestinians were killed in the airstrike, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Mujahhid Nazal, a doctor at a nearby clinic who rushed to the scene, said: “It was a really dire situation, seven young men were lying on the ground.”

Violence erupted after a policeman was killed and three others were injured when a roadside bomb exploded near an Israeli security vehicle.

People inspect the site where six Palestinians were killed by an Israeli airstrike in the West Bank city of Jenin on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. Six Palestinians and a member of Israel's paramilitary border police were killed in confrontations in a hot spot of violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry and the Israeli military said Sunday. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Image:People inspect the site of an Israeli airstrike in the West Bank city of Jenin. Pic: AP

Tensions have increased in the West Bank since Israel invaded Gaza.

The war there is nearing the three-month mark and has killed more than 22,800 people, more than two-thirds of them women and children, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry. Its count does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

Some 85% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes and squeezed into small slivers of the territory. Israel’s siege has caused a humanitarian crisis, with a quarter of the population starving because not enough supplies are entering the area, according to the UN.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after its 7 October attack, in which militants killed around 1,200 people and abducted approximately 240 others.

Netanyahu aide hopes war has reached ‘beginning of the end’

Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Sky News on Sunday that Israeli forces had finished dismantling Hamas in northern Gaza.

Mr Regev suggested this “success” could mean the “beginning of the end” for the war.

He said any rebuilding and return of Palestinians to the area would “have to wait for the end of combat operations”.

However, he said there was hope that Palestinians could go back to their homes “in the not too distant future”.

The adviser also said he agreed with Antony Blinken – the US secretary of state – who said earlier that there have been too many civilian deaths in Gaza.

“We didn’t want to see a single civilian death, and we’ve tried to make a maximum effort to avoid civilian deaths,” Mr Regev told Sky News.

He claimed the number of civilians getting caught in the crossfire “has been going down”.

Questioned on whether there was any disagreement between Israel and the US on post-conflict security, after Mr Blinken said Washington “had a vision” for Gaza’s future, Mr Regev said the two countries agreed on the “overall strategy” to ensure Hamas is “destroyed”.

“There can be no answers on what comes afterwards,” he said.

“We would like to see a government by Palestinians, for Palestinians… that insists on the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip and de-radicalisation.”


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