Driver in Suspected Nakba Day Terror Attack Indicted for Murder

Truck driver Issa Islam Ibrahim claims that the incident, which killed one and injured 17 in Tel Aviv, was not a terror attack but rather a series of accidents caused by a flat tire.

An Israeli Arab suspected of carrying out a terror attack when his truck ploughed into a series of vehicles and pedestrians in Tel Aviv last month was indicted for murder Thursday.

Issa Islam Ibrahim, 22, is charged with killing one person and wounding 17 others after he slammed into numerous cars along a busy street as Palestinians marked Nakba Day - a day or mourning over the creation of the State of Israel. He was also charged with attempted murder and causing bodily harm.

Scene of suspected Tel Aviv terror attack - Reuters - May 15, 2011

Ibrahim's alleged rampage lasted for two kilometers, during which he hit a bus, a number of vehicles, and a number of pedestrians.

During the initial investigation into the incident, Ibrahim claimed the series of accidents was completely accidental, caused by a flat tire on his truck, and not a planned terror attack with political or nationalist motives. Police, on the other hand, still suspect that Ibrahim's actions were intentional, and that he carried them out to coincide with Nakba Day.

During a police investigation last month, Ibrahim was brought back to the scene of the accident so that he could reenact the events that occurred.

The reenactment involved Ibrahim driving along the route of the incident, accompanied by police investigators, with police vehicles positioned to imitate the vehicles that were crashed into on May 15.

Police were not convinced by the suspect's answers to questions at the end of the reenactment as to why he was unable to stop the vehicle and why he crashed into a bus.

The man killed in the May 15 incident was 29-year-old Aviv Morag from Givatayim.

Israel has in recent years suffered a spate of attacks using vehicles. In 2008, Jerusalem was hit by two such attacks within three weeks, leaving three people dead and dozens wounded.

In 2010, a Palestinian tractor driver slammed his vehicle into two Israeli cars near an outpost in the northern West Bank, lightly wounding three people.