[PHOTOS & VIDEOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
Once again Arab terror strikes the capital in the form of a vehicular attack. In this case, the driver was in a Ford van and he was traveling on the Jerusalem light rail tracks. At the stop on Route 1 and Shimon HaTzaddik Street the driver rammed pedestrians at the location. The vehicle then sped off and continued to the next intersection, striking others at the corner of Moshe Zachs Street.
At that point border police were on the scene and they opened fire at the driver, killing him and ending the attack.
The attack occurred at two locations, on Route 1 (Chaim Bar-Lev Blvd) near the Grand Court Hotel (Shimon HaTzaddik Street) and then Moshe Zachs Street, the turn off to enter the Beis Yisrael neighborhood.
Border police from the base near the attack scene responded instantaneously and B”H acted appropriately by neutralizing the attacking vehicle.
On August 4, 2014 there was a fatal tractor attack at Zvill Junction, just meters from the second location hit by the terrorist today. An avreich was murdered in that attack HY”D.
Two people were murdered HY”D in the vehicular attack at the Ammunition Hill station of the Jerusalem light rail on October 22, 2014.
On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 Har Habayis activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick was the targeted of an attempted assassination, shot numerous times at point-blank range.
In all of these cases, including the latest attack, the terrorists were residents of the eastern capital.
12:20 IL: Between 8-10 people appear wounded in a terror attack at a Jerusalem light rail station near Kever Shimon HaTzaddik. Shots were heard in addition to reports of a white vehicle slamming into pedestrians at the train station.
12:25: Ichud Hatzalah and Magen David Adom EMS personnel are treating the wounded on the scene.
It appears the driver (terrorist) intentionally rammed into people at the light rail station. Police opened fire, killing the driver and thereby stopping the vehicle.
Preliminary reports indicate some of the wounded are in serious condition.
12:29: There is much confusion amid reports there are two different locations with wounded as the vehicle did travel some distance before being brought to a halt.
12:30: Ichud Hatzalah reports there are wounded at two locations, at the corner of Shivtei Yisrael Street and at Ammunition Hill.
One must remember the information is flowing in real time just a short time after the apparent terror attack occurred. The situation tends to become clearer as the scene is brought under control.
12:35: The driver of the vehicle was traveling on the Jerusalem light rail tracks and he succeeded in striking pedestrians at two stops.
Zaka is on the scene, reporting the vehicle was a white Ford Transit van, which hit persons at one stop and then continued to Zvill Junction, just meters away from the fatal attack that occurred about 2.5 months ago.
At that location the vehicle rammed into pedestrians at another train stop until border police opened fire, killing the driver.
12:40: Zaka reports the wounded were transported to Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospitals. Magen David Adom Chief of Operations Eli Bin reports at least two of the victims are in critical condition. Other sources report 4 victims are in moderate condition.
12:41: There are reports that at some point the terrorist got out of his vehicle and began beating pedestrians with a metal pipe.
Channel 2’s Roni Daniel reports that a large security force is operating in the areas of the attack as once again it appears terrorism has opted to target innocent people standing at light rail stations. There are no immediate reports from the hospital emergency rooms.
MDA’s Eli Bin confirms there are 2 victims in critical condition, 4 moderate and the remainder light. The treatment and evacuation of victims from the two attack sites is complete.
12:42: MDA Chief Eli Bin now reports there are two victims in critical condition and a third in critical condition.
12:45: Ichud Hatzalah President Eli Beer was among the first on the scene. He reports that a vehicle struck pedestrians on Route 1 at the corner of Shimon HaTzaddik Street and then continued to the next intersection, the corner of Moshe Zachs and there struck additional pedestrians. Police personnel at that area opened fire and neutralized the terrorist.
12:46: Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is on the scene as is Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich.
12:55: According to preliminary information being released, the dead terrorist was a resident of the Shuafat Refugee Camp in the northern capital area.
Hamas media is praising the attacker and encouraging others to continue to perpetrate terror attacks in Yerushalayim.
12:58: One person at the first station hit by the terrorist is in grave condition as CPR was being performed as he was being transported to the trauma unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. That person is said to be in his 30s.
Two other victims from that same area remain in serious condition. They are reportedly in their 20s and they too were transported to the Hadassah trauma unit.
13:04: Ichud Hatzalah EMT Aaron reported from the scene that five people were hit at the first attack location and the remainder at the second location. He reports seeing four people down upon his arrival at the first location, with one in critical condition and a second badly wounded but still conscious.
13:09: The victim of the attack in cardiac arrest has been pronounced dead, becoming the first fatality in this latest Arab terror attack in Yerushalayim.
13:15: Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich commented to the media from the scene.
This was another vehicular terror attack, the second involving the light rail. The victims are hospitalized. Police are out in numbers and will concentrate on maintaining order. There are security personnel among the wounded. Police arrived on the scene and fatally shot the terrorist, acting as they should.
Jerusalem is a sensitive city that is experiencing difficult events and it is not likely this was the last such act. We will do all we can to permit the city to return to regular day-to-day life. I will be in touch with the mayor and government to do everything possible to raze the home of the terrorist for this is what must be done in my opinion.
Police are doing everything possible but we cannot prevent every attack that can occur. If additional manpower is required so be it but we will restore order to the capital.
13:21: Israel Police Chief Yochanan Danino from the attack scene:
This is a very serious attack but we must remember the process of restoring security is a lengthy one. This cannot be accomplished in a day but there will be no compromise on the security of the capital. The response today is what I demand of all troops around the country. They fired and killed the terrorist as they should have. We will continue consultations and do whatever is possible to restore law and order and there will be no compromise on Jerusalem’s security.
Mayor Nir Barkat from the attack scene:
This is a difficult day for us. I am in constant contact with the chief and minister, and everything necessary is being done to bring an end to the civilian acts of terror. In this case a border police officer acted swiftly and decisively, killing the terrorist.
Remember they wish to disrupt our daily lives and for as long as we continue as we should, police and other forces will be victorious in this war.
I am also consulting with light rail officials and police, looking into how we can improve security at station to prevent future attacks…I also back calls to raze homes of terrorists and from my perspective, this should be done as quickly as possible.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photos: Yossi Eisenstein & Eliezer Sammet, News 24)