A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces after driving a truck into a group of uniformed Israeli soldiers, killing four soldiers and injuring at least 13 other people Saturday afternoon, at a bus stop in the illegal Israeli settlement of East Talpiyyot in occupied East Jerusalem.
Since a wave of unrest began in October 2015– largely marked by small-scale attacks by Palestinians targeting uniformed Israeli soldiers and police with knives or similar weapons — a number of deliberate car ramming attacks have occurred. However, Israeli authorities’ version of events have been challenged in a number of incidents, with officials in some cases later admitting so-called “terror attacks” were actually traffic accidents.However, Israeli news site Ynet quoted a witness as saying that after the truck rammed into the group of soldiers, Israeli forces fired at the driver who then reversed the truck and ran over the soldiers again. A video later released on Israeli media purported to show the moment the truck rammed into the soldiers.
“I urge all to condemn violence and incitement, maintain calm and to do everything they can to avoid further escalation,” Mladenov added.
Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat reacted to the attack, with The Jerusalem Post quoting him as saying that “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 daily life of Israel’s capital” — in reference to the controversial Israeli claim to Jerusalem as its undivided capital.
“Those who incite and fan the flames and those who support terror must pay a heavy price,” Barkat added.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in a statement that the slain Palestinian attacker was “by all indications a supporter of the Islamic State.”
Meanwhile, the Hamas movement released a statement in Arabic on social media, in which it hailed the “heroic and brave truck attack in Jerusalem which comes as natural reaction to the Israeli occupation’s crimes.”
The Hamas movement organized two marches in Jabaliya and the al-Shati refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday to celebrate the attack in Jerusalem.
Hamas politburo member Fathi Hammad said that the attack confirmed the continuity of a Palestinian unrest since October 2015, adding that Hamas would support any actions against the Israeli occupation.