An Arab-Israeli terrorist from southeast Jerusalem was shot twice Friday morning after ramming his car into four border policewomen and a male pedestrian and then brandishing a meat cleaver upon exiting the vehicle near the capital’s Border Police headquarters.
The attack was carried out by an unidentified resident of Jerusalem’s Ras el-Amud neighborhood at approximately 10 a.m. at a major junction outside of the police station, according to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
After the suspect, in his 20s, drove the vehicle into the group – lightly-to-moderately wounding the officers and lightly wounding the pedestrian – Rosenfeld said he drove some 200 meters down the road and then exited the car wielding a large cleaver.
“At this point, a Border Police officer and private security guard shot the terrorist twice in the upper torso to neutralize him,” said Rosenfeld, leaving the suspect in serious condition.
Within minutes, he said, emergency first responders, including Magen David Adom paramedics, arrived at the scene, treated the wounded and transfered them to Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem and Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
The terrorist was rushed to Hadassah Medical Center while police cordoned off the area.
“Police units immediately arrived at the scene to ensure no more attacks took place and that there was no other threat to the public,” Rosenfeld said. “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.”
Rosenfeld said police have yet to determine if the suspect is affiliated with any terrorist organizations, or if he acted independently.
Following the attack, Hamas’s spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri posted a statement on his Facebook page lauding the terrorist, but did not claim responsibility.
“The Hamas movement blesses this historic act and considers it a natural response to the occupation’s crimes,” wrote Zuhri.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the attack and commending the rapid security response.
“We are determined to keep on fighting against terrorism and to use all the force necessary for this purpose,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who tackled a terrorist near City Hall last month, promptly issued a statement vowing not to allow terrorism to thwart Purim celebrations throughout the capital.
“We will not allow terrorism to disrupt the routine of our lives and we will continue to fight it without compromise,” he said. “Our answer to terrorism is to continue our routine, and Purim events in the capital will continue as planned.”
After praising the police response and saying that security throughout the capital was markedly heightened, Barkat encouraged residents to celebrate the holiday as a show of strength.
“I invite all citizens to celebrate Purim in Jerusalem and strengthen it,” he said.
Friday’s incident was eerily reminiscent of a November terrorist attack when an Arab man from Shuafat drove his car into 13 people at the nearby Shimon Hatzadik light-rail stop, killing Border Police officer Jidan Assad.
In that incident, after crashing his vehicle, the suspect exited the car wielding a crow bar to attack more pedestrians before being shot dead.
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