Misguided getaway sets off another security alert at Israeli airport

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -A Palestinian car thief rammed through a checkpoint on the way to Israel's main airport on Sunday, authorities said, setting off a security alert in what they described as the result of poor navigation on his part rather than an attempted attack.

Video circulated on social media showed passengers in Ben Gurion Airport's departure terminal crouching alongside their luggage as instructions sounded over loudhailers.

Police said the suspect, a Palestinian in Israel illegally from the occupied West Bank, arrived at the airport checkpoint in a stolen car and raced through toward the main terminal. During a brief pursuit, he was shot and arrested.

It was at least the fifth such incident in recent months, an Israel Airports Authority spokesperson said.

As in previous cases, the suspect was believed to have taken a wrong turn off the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, Israeli officials said. That meant his attempted getaway accidentally brought him to one of the country's most protected facilities.

"It happens almost every week," a police spokesperson said.

Tensions are high amid a surge in street attacks in Israel and military raids in the West Bank. The violence has contributed to the rise of far-rightists likely to play significant roles in the incoming Israeli government.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Robert Birsel and William Mallard)