Booby-trapped Palestinian flag blows up Israeli man

The Palestinian flag that had been planted along a motorway in the West Bank
The Palestinian flag that had been planted along a motorway in the West Bank

An Israeli man was injured after kicking down a Palestinian flag which turned out to be an explosive booby trap.

The flag had been planted along a motorway in the West Bank in what appeared to be a provocative gesture towards Israeli residents of the nearby Kohav HaShahar settlement.

The man, identified as an off-duty Israel Defense Force (IDF) reservist by the Times of Israel, stopped his car on the side of Route 458 to remove it.

Video footage shows him marching through a field before knocking the flag over with a single kick. As the flag falls, an explosion is triggered, flooring the man and covering him in smoke and debris.

Passengers inside the car, who were filming the incident, are heard shouting as there initially appeared to be no sign of the man. However, Rescuers Without Borders, an Israeli volunteer organisation, said he escaped with only minor injuries. After treatment on the roadside, he declined to be taken to a hospital.

The IDF said it was investigating the incident.

Clashes continue

The booby-trapped flag appeared amid further clashes between Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

On Sunday, the IDF announced that Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian gunmen who opened fire and tried to stab soldiers near the city of Hebron.

The gunmen, who were not named by the IDF, were said to have pulled a knife on the troops near the Beit Einun junction, at about 7am, and fired at the soldiers.

Both suspects, who were confirmed as 18- and 19-years-old, were killed in a shootout that followed. No IDF soldiers were injured, according to the Israeli military.

Hours earlier, a woman was killed after trying to stab an IDF soldier at a checkpoint in the northern part of the West Bank.

The weekend’s violence follows extensive IDF raids in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near Tulkarm City, which have led to the killing of at least 14 Palestinian gunmen, with 10 Israeli soldiers wounded, according to the Israeli military.

On Monday, at least three people were injured in the Romema neighbourhood of north Jerusalem in a suspected terrorist attack. Video footage shows a white car accelerating into a group of men and knocking them over.

After crashing, one of the suspected terrorists got out of the car with a makeshift “Carlo” submachine gun, and tried to open fire, police said. They reported that the firearm jammed and the suspect then dumped the weapon as he and an accomplice attempted to escape on foot. The local ambulance service said the three victims were “lightly hurt”.