JERUSALEM (AP) – A Palestinian man rammed a minivan into a crowded train stop Wednesday in east Jerusalem and then attacked people with an iron bar after leaving the vehicle, killing one person and injuring 13 before he was shot dead by police.
The militant Hamas group took responsibility for the attack – the second-such assault in east Jerusalem in the past two weeks – which escalated already heightened tensions between Arabs and Jews in the city.
Earlier Wednesday, Israeli police dispersed dozens of masked Palestinians who threw rocks and firecrackers near a contested holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City in response to a visit by a group of Jewish activists.
Neighbouring Jordan recalled the kingdom’s ambassador to Israel for consultations in a gesture of protest over the police raid at the sacred site.
Jordan also said it would submit a complaint to the UN Security Council and would “take all necessary legal and diplomatic decisions and steps in order to stop Israel from its behaviour” at the holy site, said Jordan’s State Minister for Media Affairs Mohammad al-Momani. Under a longstanding arrangement with Israel, Jordan retains custodial rights over Muslim holy sites in the Old City.
Police said the motorist slammed the white minivan into the train stop in east Jerusalem first, backed out and proceeded to drive off, hitting several cars along the way. He then got out and attacked a group of civilians and police officers on the side of the road with a metal bar before he was shot and killed. Security camera footage appeared to show him darting about a crowded intersection before he was shot.
Israeli police said, “one person was killed and about a dozen people were injured in the terror attack.” They later identified the slain man as a border policeman from the Druze minority.
Police identified the attacker as Ibrahim al-Akari, a 38-year-old Palestinian, and said he had recently been released from prison after serving time for security offenses. (See also page 18 for earlier update)