Cop killed in central Israel ramming by Palestinian teen driving stolen car – police

A police officer was killed in the early hours of Sunday when he was hit at a checkpoint in central Israel by a stolen vehicle believed to be driven by a Palestinian teenager, police said.

The dead officer was later identified as 29-year-old Barak Meshulam from the central city of Kfar Saba.

Meshulam was married and had two children.

After the incident, the second such deadly ramming in as many weeks, Israeli police chief Kobi Shabtai clarified that officers are allowed to open fire on “anyone who endangers the lives of officers while trying to break through a checkpoint.”

Shabtai praised Meshulam as “an outstanding police officer who did exactly what he was supposed to do as a police officer and as a defender of society and the state.”

Police said the 17-year-old suspected of driving the car was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The scene of a fatal car accident on Route 4, near Ra’anana, in the early morning of July 17, 2022. (Israel Police)

The teenager, from the West Bank city of Ramallah, was allegedly driving a car he had stolen in the Tel Aviv area and was being chased by police when he ran over Meshulam at a checkpoint on Route 4, near the town of Ra’anana.

The road was subsequently closed in both directions as a large force moved to the scene.

The police officer was found lying dead on the road, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance.

The suspect then allegedly exited the vehicle, attempting to flee on foot. A police helicopter then helped cops locate and arrest him shortly after.

The police have launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident and are questioning the suspect.

The scene of a fatal car accident on Route 4, near Ra’anana, in the early morning of July 17, 2022. (Israel Police)

Earlier, an unnamed official from the Kfar Saba station to which the slain cop belongs was quoted by the Ynet news site as saying: “Until we get permission to shoot in such cases, policemen will continue to be hit and killed.”

Last month, volunteer police officer Amichai Carmeli was killed when he was mowed down by a vehicle at a checkpoint set up to check for drunk drivers in the central city of Rishon Lezion.

Earlier this month, the alleged driver was charged with a number of crimes, including culpable homicide.

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