Truck Rams Into Pedestrians In Jerusalem Killing Four, Wounding 15; Driver Shot

A truck rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers who were disembarking from a bus in Jerusalem on Sunday, killing four people and wounding 15 others, AP reported citing Israeli police and rescue services said. 

  

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the truck veered off course and rammed into the group on the street at the Armon Hanatziv promenade overlooking the walled Old City of Jerusalem. She said the attacker was shot dead after the attack.

The attack took place in East Jerusalem at the Armon Hanatziv promenade

 

Israel's rescue service MDA said the four casualties were in their 20s and included three women and a man. Of the 15 wounded, one was in serious condition. Paramedic Chen Lendi Sharon was among the first to arrive on the scene and described 10 bodies trapped beneath the truck. 

“It is a terrorist attack, a ramming attack,” a police spokeswoman said on Israel Radio according to Reuters.

An Israeli bus driver who witnessed the incident said on the radio the truck plowed into a group of soldiers, and that they fired on the driver, who reversed direction and ran over them again.

"They shot him, until they neutralized him," said the bus driver, who gave his name only as Moshe. Israeli TV stations said the driver was killed, and footage showed bullet holes in the truck's windscreen.

Israel's police chief Roni Alsheich told reporters the attacker was from an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem and forces had no advance warning. He refused to elaborate and a gag order was placed on further details pending an investigation.

According to a Times of Israel reporter, Hamas's Qassam brigades say Jerusalem attacker, Fadi al-Qanbar, was a released prisoner. Call him a "Mujahid."

The Sunday attack, reminiscent of the recent truck-ramming at the Berlin Christmas market which took place in December and was perpetrated by an ISIS-supporter, would rank as one of the deadliest in a more than yearlong wave of Palestinian shooting, stabbing and vehicular attacks against Israelis that had slowed of late. Sunday's incident marks the first Israeli deaths in three months.

Since September 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 40 Israelis and two visiting Americans. During the same time, 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were attackers while the rest died in clashes. The Palestinians and rights groups have accused Israel of using excessive force in some confrontations.

Israel says the violence is driven by a Palestinian campaign of incitement, while Palestinians say it's the result of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation and dwindling hopes for an independent state