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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

UPDATED: Construction vehicle hits Jerusalem bus in suspected attack, 2 dead

Jerusalem police have described a collision between a construction vehicle and a public bus in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood as a possible terrorist attack

Reuters , Monday 4 Aug 2014
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A construction vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian and overturned a bus on a main street in Jerusalem on Monday in what police suspect was a Palestinian attack, which ended when policemen shot dead the driver of the yellow excavator.

There were no passengers on the bus, in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of the city. Surveillance video broadcast on Israeli television showed the excavator's mechanical arm tearing into the side of the bus as it lay on the sidewalk.

Israeli media said the driver of the digger was a Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

Tensions have been high in Jerusalem for the past month over the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that started on July 8, leaving 1,820 Palestinians killed and more than 10,000 wounded.

Yossi Farienti, Jerusalem district police chief, said the excavator "hit a Jewish citizen at a construction site and then drove about 50 metres (yards) down the road, where it overturned the bus with its arm, slightly injuring three people".

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said "police are looking at the incident as a terror attack". He said a police officer shot dead the excavator's driver.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the nearly four-week-old Gaza offensive had also raised fears of attacks in Israeli cities.

"From the moment fighting started in the south, we realised such an incident of a lone attacker can happen and such tractor attacks are familiar in Jerusalem," Aharonovitch said on Channel 2 television.

"(The driver's) whole family is being interrogated. We want to know who sent him, if he was acting alone, whether he belonged to a network - all those things are being checked," he said.

In two incidents in July 2008, construction vehicles driven by Palestinians hit Israeli buses and pedestrians, killing a total of three people. In both incidents, the attackers were shot dead.

Three years later, an Arab truck driver drove into cars and pedestrians in Tel Aviv, killing one person, in what police said was a deliberate attack. The driver was apprehended and sentenced to life imprisonment.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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