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One killed and at least 17 injured in car-ramming attack in Israeli city of Raanana

One woman has been killed and at least 17 people have been injured in car-ramming attacks in the central Israeli city of Raanana on Monday, according police.

Two suspects have been arrested, police said, calling it a terrorist attack.

It comes amid heightened security tensions over Israel’s three-month-old war with Hamas inside Gaza. The conflict was triggered by a Hamas attack inside Israel on 7 October during which 1,200 people were killed and another 240 taken hostage. In response, Isreal has hit Hamas-controlled Gaza with airstrikes, ground operations and a blockade. More than 24,000 people have been killed in Gaza according to health ministry officials in the territory.

The car-ramming attacks took place across two locations in Raanana, a short distance north of Tel Aviv, police said The two suspects are from the same Palestinian family in Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank, and entered Israel illegally, they added.

"They went out together and in parallel, to two different locations, took two cars and launched a series of rammings," central district police chief Avi Biton told reporters.

Israeli security officials respond to the suspected ramming attack in Raanana which has left more than 19 people injured (REUTERS)
Israeli security officials respond to the suspected ramming attack in Raanana which has left more than 19 people injured (REUTERS)

The victim who died from her injuries was a 70-year-old woman, according to doctors. Israeli media reports say the woman who died is believed to have been stabbed by one of the suspects.

“She died despite our efforts to resuscitate her,” said Dr Yaron Mushkat of Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba said. The woman has not been named.

A man aged 34 and a 16-year-old are in serious condition, Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance service said. Schneider Children’s Medical Center said that the 16-year-old is undergoing surgery at Schneider for head trauma.

The six other young victims, aged 10 to 16, were brought to Schneider and nearby Beilinson Medical Center. They are in light to moderate condition and are undergoing medical evaluations in the emergency department for limb, head, and neck injuries.

A cordon has been put up around one of the location s of the alleged attack (AFP via Getty Images)
A cordon has been put up around one of the location s of the alleged attack (AFP via Getty Images)

Dr Mushkat said that two other victims at the hospital are in serious condition and two are in moderate condition. The injuries they sustained were caused by a combination of stabbing and car-ramming.

Police officials say the assailants took control of two cars and carried out attacks in at least two locations in the city. The first was apprehended very quickly and the second a few minutes later. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Tensions have also been heightened in the occupied 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.

Eli Raymond, from MDA, said: "We arrived at the scene with large forces, and we saw a number of injured people with different levels of injury.

"Immediately we began administering medical care, including stopping bleeding, treating, and giving medication. We evacuated those injured for further treatment in the hospitals."

The incidents reportedly took place in Haroshet Street and Ahuza Street, which is the main street in the city.

Israeli police forensics personnel inspect a damaged car following a suspected ramming attack in the central town of Raanana (AFP via Getty Images)
Israeli police forensics personnel inspect a damaged car following a suspected ramming attack in the central town of Raanana (AFP via Getty Images)

The police Central District Commander Avi Bitton said they had been working in the city’s industrial zone recently.

He said: “This was a very grave terror attack.”

Ra’anana Mayor Chaim Broyde has urged peopleto stay inside as authorities deal with the incident and assess the situation. Police and Israel’s Shin Bet security agency are said to be investigating the attack.

Citing witnesses in an earlier report, Army Radio said the incident may have been a car-jacking during which the stolen vehicle crashed.