Early this morning, at about 3:30, a stolen truck driven by two Palestinians from Jenin and Qalkilia ran through the security checkpoint at the entrance to Ben Gurion Airport. Emergency procedures were immediately set in motion and security forces dispersed throughout the field. The truck continued its rampage through the field, running through more checkpoints and almost running down a security guard, until it was finally stopped by guards who fired four bullets at the vehicle. The two abandoned the vehicle and began to escape on foot, but were finally apprehended. They were stopped only 200 meters away from Terminal 3, one of the airport’s main buildings, which was crowded with outgoing pre-holiday passengers. Some 60,000 passengers have gone through the airport in the last 24 hours.
A police sapper was called in to check if the truck was booby-trapped, but he ruled out that possibility.
During the drama, all activity throughout the airport was brought to a stand-still, and was commenced only about an hour later, after the “all-clear” signal was given.
Shmuel Zakai, director of Ben Gurion Airport, commended the security forces for the quick response, and stated that the guard who fired his weapon was acting properly according to regulations.
The two Palestinians were taken into custody for questioning. They were both in the vicinity illegally without proper permits. Their motivation is yet unclear. One report indicates they may have stolen the truck with no intent to commit a terrorist attack, and took a wrong turn into the airport.