A 22-year-old Palestinian man confessed to intentionally driving into a bus stop outside the Jewish community of Alon Shvut in Judea and Samaria on Thursday. The Shin Bet security agency said that Muhammed Arfaaya of Chevron who injured four Israelis ages 16-25 in the terrorist attack, admitted to having nationalistic motives.
The four wounded Israelis, all students at yeshivas and high schools in Gush Etzion, were on their way home for the weekend when Arfaaya’s car veered off the highway and ran them down as they were trying to catch a lift at the same hitchhiking spot where three Jewish teens were abducted (and later murdered) by Hamas terrorists last June.
“[My friend] Ari and I were standing at the stop facing Beit Shemesh because we needed to get home,” said 25-year-old Binyamin Frenkel, who was lightly wounded in Thursday’s attack, Israel Hayom reported. “Out of the corner of his eye, Ari saw the car coming closer, grabbed me and shouted, ‘Get out of the way!’ We moved, but the car had already hit us.”
“Ari was on the ground, 6 or 7 meters (about 20 feet) away,” Frenkel said. “Army doctors and ambulances came and got us. At Hadassah [Medical Center in Jerusalem], I realized he was still alive.”
Arfaaya, who was released from prison about a year ago after serving a sentence for throwing rocks and carrying a knife, told interrogators that he wanted to hurt Jews in the vehicular attack. In November 2014, a combined car-ramming/stabbing attack at the hitchhiking post on the other side of the same highway killed Jewish woman Dalia Lemkus.
On Wednesday, the Shin Bet named Israeli Arab man Majdi Mahmed Salah, 31, as the suspect in a car-ramming terror attack on April 25 in the A-Tur neighborhood of Jerusalem. Three Israeli police officers were wounded in that attack. Also in April, an Arab man drove into a bus stop in Jerusalem’s French Hill junction, killing 26-year-old Jewish man Shalom Yohai Sherki.