Ramming attacks are a common, deadly modus operandi carried out as part of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah’s strategy of “popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism].1 The concept of “popular resistance,” which replaced the concept of armed struggle, includes the political-popular-economic-propaganda-legal campaign the PA wages against Israel. The “popular resistance” is not the non-violent strategy publicly touted by the PA leadership or the rhetoric the PA uses when dealing with the West. It is non-institutional violence carried out on the initiative of individuals or local networks. “Popular terrorism” includes throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, stabbing attacks, ramming attacks. The “popular resistance,” in the minds of the PA and Fatah, is different from an armed military struggle, as was manifested in the second intifada, whose renewal Hamas preaches.
Ramming attacks are usually carried out by lone terrorists. They are sometimes turned into combined attacks when the terrorist leaves the vehicle and continues the attack with a knife.
The attacks are usually spontaneous, not orchestrated by a terrorist organization and do not necessitate preparation, making them difficult to prevent. Ramming attacks are particularly deadly (as opposed to stabbing attacks, which cause fewer casualties). Since October 2015 (when the wave of popular terrorism broke out) more than 65 ramming attacks have been carried out, killing and injuring a large number of Israeli soldiers and civilians (A table detailing the attacks is available in the Appendix of the Hebrew version of this document).