At 10:00 AM on Friday, an Arab-Israeli from East Jerusalem drove his car into four Israeli border policewomen and a male pedestrian, outside Jerusalem’s police headquarters, according to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
The man, a resident of the Ras el-Amud neighborhood in his 20s, drove his vehicle into the group of Israelis, wounding all of them lightly. He exited the car holding a meat cleaver, with apparent intentions of further violence. “At this point, a Border Police officer and private security guard shot the terrorist twice in the upper torso to neutralize him,” said Rosenfeld. The suspect was incapacitated and transported by paramedics to Hadassah Medical Center, alongside his victims.
“Police units immediately arrived at the scene to ensure no more attacks took place and that there was no other threat to the public,” the spokesman added. “We heightened security in Jerusalem immediately after the attack, taking into consideration a large number of events for Purim were taking place at the same time.”
The suspect is not known to have ties to a particular terrorist organization. Hamas’s spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri congratulated the attacker later in the day, but did not mention group affiliation. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack, and applauded the swift action on the part of authorities,
“We are determined to keep on fighting against terrorism and to use all the force necessary for this purpose,” he said.
Last month, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat personally stopped a lone Arab attacker on the streets of Jerusalem. “We will not allow terrorism to disrupt the routine of our lives and we will continue to fight it without compromise,” said Barkat. “Our answer to terrorism is to continue our routine, and Purim events in the capital will continue as planned.”
This is not the first vehicular attack Jerusalem has experienced. In November of last year, an Arab resident of East Jerusalem ran over 13 people at a Jerusalem outdoor light rail station. That incident ended with the attacker being shot and killed.