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Jerusalem attack: Four dead after lorry driver rams soldiers

Jerusalem attack: Four dead after lorry driver rams soldiers

  • Israeli security forces and medics gather at the site of a ramming attack in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017Image copyrightAFP
Image captionImages showed a truck with bullet holes in the windscreen

Four people have been killed in Jerusalem by a Palestinian who rammed a lorry into a group of soldiers, in what police say was a terrorist attack.

Three women and one man, all in their twenties, were killed and at least 13 more were wounded, medics say.

Police said the driver was shot dead by soldiers from the group.

Over the past 15 months there have been many attacks on Israelis by Palestinians – using knives, guns and sometimes vehicles.

Israel’s police chief Roni Alsheich said the assailant in Sunday’s attack was a Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

CCTV footage showed the truck driving off the road and ploughing at high speed into the soldiers, before reversing over the victims.

“He drove backward to crush more people,” eyewitness Leah Schreiber told reporters. “That was really clear.”

Israeli security and rescue forces work at the scene of a truck ramming incident in Jerusalem January 8, 2017.Image copyrightREUTERS

The attack took place on the popular Armon Hanatziv promenade overlooking the walled Old City of Jerusalem.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said security had been heightened throughout the city in response.

Israeli soldiers sit in a bus as they leave the scene of a truck-ramming incident in Jerusalem January 8, 2017.Image copyrightREUTERS
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on residents not to “let terror win” and said militants would “pay a heavy price”.

“There is no limit to the cruelty of the terrorists who are willing to use any means possible to murder Jews and to damage the life routine of Israel’s capital,” he said.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas praised the attacker, according to the Associated Press. Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanou called it a “heroic” act and encouraged other Palestinians to “escalate the resistance”.

Israeli security forces gather around a flatbed truck at the site of a ramming attack in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017.Image copyrightAFP

Before this latest incident, 35 Israelis had been killed in a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs since October 2015.

More than 200 Palestinians – mostly attackers, Israel says – have also been killed in that period.

Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.

The BBC’s Yolande Knell in Jerusalem says the number of attacks had begun to subside in recent months, but Sunday’s incident is one of the most serious there has been.

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