Israel: Woman killed, 17 hurt in suspected Palestinian car-ramming attack

The suspects switched between three cars during the attack, according to Israeli police

A 70-year-old woman has been killed and 17 other people injured in what police say was a terrorist attack in Israel.

Two Palestinians from the occupied West Bank have been arrested over the incident in Raanana, about 20km (12.5 miles) north of Tel Aviv.

The suspects allegedly switched between three stolen vehicles and ran over pedestrians in different places.

The attack came as the war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza passed the 100-day mark.

Israeli media reports say the woman who died was stabbed by one of the suspects before he and an accomplice took her car and used it to ram into people.

The attackers lost control of the car then stole a second car and continued driving into people, according to the reports.

Haaretz newspaper quoted an eyewitness as saying they “saw someone stab three people near the mall. [The attacker] stole a car and ran over other people”.

It is unclear how the attackers were stopped and arrested. Police say both suspects came from the West Bank city of Hebron and that they had both entered Israel illegally.

There have been few reports of attacks in Israel since the war began on 7 October and Monday’s incident will further increase the sense of anxiety among Israelis.

The country is still in a state of shock after waves of Hamas gunmen burst through the border from Gaza and attacked Israeli communities, killing at least 1,300 people – mainly civilians – and taking about 240 others hostage 101 days ago.

Tensions have also been heightened in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza. Local health officials say more than 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in raids targeting militants and in other incidents, as well as in settler-related violence.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that two Palestinians – 22-year-old Mohammed Hassan Abu Sabaa and Ahed Mahmoud Mohammed, 23 – were shot dead by Israeli forces during what it called “confrontations” in the town of Dura, south of Hebron, on Thursday night.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its forces had been attacked with petrol bombs and rocks, and had “responded with riot dispersal means and live fire”.

“An assailant who hurled a Molotov cocktail at the forces was killed, and additional hits were identified,” it said.

Hamas praised the attack in Raanana as “a natural response to the occupation’s massacres and its continued aggression against our Palestinian people”.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says 24,100 people – mainly women and children – have been killed in Israel’s bombardment, which began in response to the attacks. The ministry says almost 61,000 others have been injured.

Israel says 9,000 of those killed in Gaza were Hamas combatants. It has vowed to destroy the group and free the remaining hostages.

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