Driver shot dead after Jerusalem car ramming wounds five


Ramallah (Reuters) – A Palestinian man drove his car into a crowd on a Jerusalem street on Monday, injuring five people before being shot dead by a passerby, Israeli police said.

Hours earlier, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian during a raid in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a long series of incidents during an upsurge in violence over the past year.

Israel’s ambulance service said it treated five people who were injured before transferring them to a hospital, including a 70-year-old man who was in a serious but stable condition.

Videos obtained by Reuters showed a man lying stretched out on the hood of a car that was stopped in the middle of a road as shots rang out.

Speaking at the start of ceremonies commemorating Israel’s military dead, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the driver of the car, whom police identified as a 39-year-old from East Jerusalem, had tried to hurt civilians deliberately.

“This terrorist attack, in this place, at this time, reminds us that the land of Israel and the State of Israel are acquired through many trials and tribulations,” he said.

Police said its initial investigations indicated that the car ramming was a deliberate attack but that it was also making checks into the suspect’s medical background.

A spokesman for the Hamas militant group which governs blockaded Gaza said the incident was a response to Israel’s “war against our people”.

Israeli-Palestinian violence has surged this year, with frequent military raids and violence by Israeli settlers amid a spate of Palestinian attacks. More than 90 Palestinians and at least 19 Israelis and foreigners have been killed since January.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man during a raid on the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp near the West Bank city of Jericho.

“During the activity, two suspects were spotted fleeing the scene. The soldiers responded with live fire. Hits were identified,” the army said. It did not elaborate on why the two Palestinians were targeted.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted the governor of Jericho as saying that a man was fatally shot and three others wounded by the troops.

The statement from the governor said the army had not handed over the man’s body to his family.

Separately, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Association advocacy group said Israeli security forces had carried out 30 arrests in the West Bank overnight and early on Monday.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the core of a future independent state, during the 1967 Middle East war. It has since annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally.

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