One Killed in Tractor Terror Attack in Jerusalem, Rogue Driver Shot Dead (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
An Arab backhoe operator used his earthmoving vehicle to flip over a commuter bus in Jerusalem on Monday, killing one and injuring several others, before a passing police officer shot him dead.
A passerby, in his 20’s, was killed when the bus crushed him; the driver and at least three other people sustained minor wounds, according to Israeli Army radio.
The attack began when the driver of the backhoe exited a construction site and overturned the bus with the vehicle’s digging tool, just north of the Old City, near hotels and the city’s light rail line.
The backhoe driver also ran over another pedestrian, in his 30’s, en route to the attack, a short distance away, according to initial details, before he was shot dead by Ariel Tuita of the Prison Service’ Nahshon anti-terror unit, according to Ynet News.
“This was a terror attack – no doubt,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said, after police updated him at the scene of the attack.
Palestinian sources said the suspect was Muhammed Naif El-Ja’abis, 19, of the city’s Jabal Mukaber neighborhood.
It is unclear if he was the registered driver of the heavy vehicle, or if he commandeered the vehicle from the work site.
Police said at a brief update at the scene that they had information that such an attack was a possibility, and have now raised their security level nationwide, ahead of any possible copycat attacks.
The No. 291 bus had just started its route from Jerusalem to the Israeli town of Beitar Elite, south of the city, and was in motion when the attack took place.
Hamas officials in Gaza praised the attack, calling it “a brave and natural response to the massacre being perpetrated in Gaza.” The Islamist group called on Palestinians in the West Bank to “increase their resistance, in all its forms, throughout Palestine,” Israel Radio said.
Arabs perpetrated three similar attacks in 2008 and 2009, killing three and wounding dozens of others in the first attack, which took place during construction of the light rail line, near the Central Bus Station.
The second attack took place near the city’s King David Hotel. Security officials shot the driver to death before he could do any damage in his rampage.