Baby killed when Palestinian drives into Jerusalem train stop-police

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 22, 2014 3:06 PM

By Ori Lewis

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A baby was killed and eight people were injured when a car slammed into pedestrians at a Jerusalem light railway stop on Wednesday, emergency services said, in what police described as a "terrorist attack".

The driver, whom police identified as Palestinian Adbel-Rahman Shaloudi, 21, was shot by police as he tried to flee the scene on foot and was in serious condition in hospital, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, adding he was a resident of Arab East Jerusalem.

Video footage aired on Israeli media showed Shaloudi lying on the ground and a plain clothes officer pointing a pistol at him.

Two of the injured pedestrians were in serious condition, police said.

"We can confirm that this was a terrorist attack. The driver ... is a resident of Silwan and has a terrorist background. He has served time in jail for terror activity," Rosenfeld said.

The car was owned by Shaloudi's father, police added. After nightfall, Silwan residents clashed with police, who responded to rocks and petrol bombs with stun grenades.Footage of the incident showed the car veer to the right from the traffic lane and hurtle at speed into a light railway platform, hitting pedestrians before coming to a halt apparently after flattening a signpost.

The incident took place along a main north-south route leading into the center of Jerusalem, close to the national police headquarters and one of the city's main hospitals at Mount Scopus.

HAMAS BLAMED

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist Hamas movement, with whom he has forged a unity government deal, for the attack. He also ordered police to heighten their presence in Jerusalem.

"Terrorist attacks like today's in Jerusalem are typical of Hamas, President (Mahmoud) Abbas' partner in the Palestinian government," Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev said.

"This is the way in which Abu Mazen's (Abbas's) partners in government operate, the same Abu Mazen who just days ago incited to harm Jews in Jerusalem," a statement from Netanyahu's office added.

Repeated damage caused by Palestinians to the Jerusalem light railway, which links Arab and Jewish neighborhoods and was once hailed by Israeli authorities as a symbol of coexistence, has put a third of its carriages out of commission.

The tensions have underscored deepening divisions in the Israeli-occupied part of the city that Israel claims as its "indivisible capital".

Tensions have been high in Jerusalem since events leading up to a 50-day Gaza war that ended in August and the killing of a Palestinian teen in the city.

Three Israelis have been charged in the killing case on suspicion they had sought to avenge the June slayings of three abducted Israeli youths in the occupied West Bank.

The last deadly incidents in Jerusalem took place in August when a Palestinian killed an Israeli and overturned a bus with a construction vehicle and a gunman wounded a soldier in attacks that appeared to be a backlash against the Gaza war.

Israel captured East Jerusalem along with Gaza and the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War. It annexed the city shortly afterwards and passed a law in 1980 that declared all of Jerusalem its capital, a move not recognized internationally.

(Additional reporting by Ammar Awad, writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan and Tom Heneghan)