Palestinian shot dead after injuring 5 Israelis in car ramming attack
Jerusalem, Apr 24 (EFE).- A Palestinian man was shot dead on Monday after he rammed his car into a group of people near a busy market in West Jerusalem, Israeli police said.
Five people – all Israelis – were injured in the attack, while the perpetrator was shot dead by a civilian.
“A car driver ran over several passers-by on Agripas Street in Jerusalem,” a police spokesman said, describing the event as a “terrorist attack” in a central area close to the busy Mehane Yehuda market which is popular with tourists and locals.
The alleged attacker was a Palestinian resident of the Beit Safafa neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, police said, while Israeli media have identified him as Khatem Najma, a 39-year-old father of five.
The Israeli ambulance service Magen David Adom said five people were treated for injuries, all of whom were transferred to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, including one man in his 60s who was in a serious condition with multiple trauma.
“There was a large disturbance at the scene, I saw the five victims near the vehicle, with one unconscious with multiple wounds, and the other four victims were conscious,” said paramedic Eli Raymond, who treated the victims.
Speaking at a Memorial Day ceremony commemorating Israelis killed in conflict, on the eve of Independence Day marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “This attack, in this place, at this time, reminds us that the Land of Israel and the State of Israel are achieved with great suffering.”
This was the second Palestinian attack in Jerusalem in less than a week, after a teenager shot at a vehicle carrying two Jewish settlers in the Shaykh Yarrah neighborhood in the occupied eastern half of the city on April 18.
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas did not claim responsibility for the attack but celebrated it as a “heroic act” that confirms “the continuity of the Palestinian resistance” and that “the Zionists do not enjoy security and stability even on their own dates”.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has escalated in the past year to levels of violence not seen since the Second Intifada (2000-05), with an increase in both Palestinian attacks against Israelis, as well as aggressions by Jewish settlers against Palestinians and violent raids by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.
The wave of violence has so far this year left at least 100 Palestinians dead, mostly militiamen in clashes between Israeli troops, but also civilians, including 18 children.
On the Israeli side, 19 civilian victims of attacks have died, most of them settlers, including three children. EFE