Two people were killed when a car crashed into a bus stop in the Jerusalem area
© Reuters. A general view shows the scene of a suspected attack in Jerusalem, February 10, 2023. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Two people, including a child, were killed and several injured when a Palestinian driver rammed his car into a group of people at a bus stop on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Friday , the Israeli emergency services said.
A police spokesman said the driver, who was shot at the scene, was dead. An Israeli security official identified him as Hussain Qraqaa, 31, a resident of Issawia in East Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a terrorist attack and ordered the reinforcement of security forces.
Ariel Ben-David, a volunteer medic with the United Hatzalah Ambulance Service, told Army Radio: “Everybody was lying, tossed about, in a very bad condition. We’re sorry, one child. the child did not survive.”
The incident comes during a period of heightened anxiety in Israel about security following an attack in which a lone Palestinian gunman killed seven people outside a synagogue last month.
Israeli forces have made hundreds of arrests in recent months in near-daily raids in the occupied West Bank, which has seen bloody gun battles with Palestinian militants .
At least 42 Palestinians, including gunmen and civilians, have been killed this year.
A spokesman for Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip, hailed Friday’s attack as a “heroic operation” but denied responsibility.
A man who said he witnessed the attack from his car told Israel’s Channel 12 that an armed civilian shot the attacker before a police officer arrived and also shot at cars.
In addition to a six-year-old boy, a 20-year-old man was also killed. Channel 12 News reported that the 6-year-old boy’s brother was seriously injured in the incident.
Footage circulating on social media shows a blue car crashing into a power pole in front of a bus stop in the Ramot area, the part of Jerusalem annexed by Israel after the 1967 Middle East war. Israel considered the land to be within the city limits of Jerusalem.
Security Minister Hardline Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is in charge of the police force in the area, visited the scene and was greeted by angry mobs surrounding him, some chanting “Die you guys. terrorism!”.
“There is nothing more difficult than discovering an incident where a child has been killed,” said Ben-Gvir. “I have said more than once that I want the death penalty for terrorists.”
He said he had instructed police to set up checkpoints around Issawiya, the area in East Jerusalem where the attackers came from.