—– Special Report —–
WATCH: After violent morning clashes on Temple Mount, Palestinian plows into group of pedestrians in East Jerusalem, leaves his vehicle & continues his violent attack with a metal bar until shot dead by police.
Noam (Dabul) Dvir
A pickup truck rammed into a group of pedestrians waiting for Jerusalem’s Light Rail, killing one person and wounding a number of others, in what seems to be an additional terror attack on Wednesday. The suspected terrorist was identified as a Hamas operative from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat.
According to the police a “a vehicle struck a number of people in Jerusalem. Emergency units (are) at two scenes treating injured.” Initial reports say that a terror attack has taken place at the Tomb of Simeon the Just (or Kever Shimon haTzadik) Light Rail train station.
According to initial reports, the terrorist first hit a group of security forces that were waiting at a crosswalk on a main road that straddles predominantly Arab East Jerusalem and an adjacent ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood and then headed for the train station and continued driving down the street, hitting cars.
He then rammed into a group of pedestrians with his car, killing one person and leaving two with serious wounds, two others in moderate condition and one in light condition.
The driver then continued to drive hitting a number of cars and then stopped, exited the car holding a metal bar and proceeded to attack additional pedestrians. Border Patrol forces then shot and killed him.
The tomb is the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Jewish settlers recently moved into a number of houses in the area, heightening tensions in the already volatile capital. According to initial reports the car hit a Light Rail train station.
The attack on Wednesday was the second such incident in two weeks in the holy city, the scene of daily Palestinian protests amid tensions over a sacred compound Muslims revere as Noble Sanctuary and Jews as Temple Mount.
On Oct. 22, three-month-old Haya Ziesl Baron and Ecuadorian Karen Mosquera (22) were killed when a Palestinian man named as Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi plowed his car into a crowd of people waiting at the Ammunition Hill station of Jerusalem’s Light Rail.
The driver, a resident of the village of Silwad with a record of security related offenses, attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was shot by police. He sustained chest wounds and succumbed to his wounds late Wednesday evening after being taken to a Jerusalem hospital in serious condition.
Tensions in the capital further escalated last week, after Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a prominent right-wing activist, was shot at point blank range outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem on Wednesday night.
Glick, 50, was shot in his upper body by a motorcyclist during an annual event organized by the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement.
The event, “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount,” was attended by MKs and notable right-wing activists, among them Deputy Minister Eli Ben Dahan, MK Moshe Feiglin, MK Miri Regev and Hagai Ben Artzi – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother-in-law.
The flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque and adjacent neighborhoods have seen months of violence, with the mosque compound a rallying point for Palestinian resistance to perceived Jewish attempts to take control of it.
On Wednesday morning, the Temple Mount compound was closed shortly after Palestinians clashed with security forces, throwing rocks and launching fireworks, as a large group of right-wing activists waited at the entrance to the holy site. One Palestinian was wounded in the clashes.
The site was reopened shortly after, highlighting its volatile nature, as tensions between Jews, Arabs and security forces rise.
Elior Levy and Reuters contributed to this report.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4588371,00.html