Seven people, including at least four female Border Police officers, were injured Friday morning when a Palestinian man plowed his car onto the sidewalk and into a group of pedestrians at a light-rail station in northern Jerusalem, in a presumed terror attack targeting Israeli Jews. The assailant then got out of his car, holding a knife, and was shot and critically wounded by police and security officers.
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The assailant was later identified as Mohammed Salaymah, 22, from East Jerusalem’s Ras al Amud neighborhood. According to a statement issued after the attack by the Shin Bet security service, Salaymah was not previously known to Israel’s intelligence agencies but he does have a criminal record. According to Palestinian sources, Salaymah carried out the attack in response to reports on social media of an attack on Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount.
On Thursday, Salaymah posted to his Facebook page a photograph of himself wrapped in a Palestinian flag and captioned “Soon, in the name of Allah and the homeland.”
Salaymah was admitted to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem in critical condition after the attack.
Seven people were admitted to Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus. Two had moderate injuries, while the others had minor injuries.
The attack took place outside a Border Police base, near the Shimon Hatzadik station of the light rail system, close to the Old City’s Damascus Gate. The site was the location of a similar attack in November in which Border Police Superintendent Jidun Assad, 38, of the Galilee Druze town of Beit Jann, was killed.
An additional 13 people were injured in that attack, which was carried out by Ibrahim al-Aqari, a Hamas member from East Jerusalem. Aqari rammed his car into a group of pedestrians and then exited the car and tried to attack passersby with a metal rod. He was shot and killed on the site by Border Police officers.
“The swift and determined response stopped the attack as it was beginning and prevented more innocents from being injured,” said Israel Police Mag. Gen. Moshe Edri, commander of the Jerusalem District, at the scene of Friday’s incident. He said there was no specific warning that a terror attack was imminent, and promised to restore calm to the city as quickly as possible.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat promised to “keep fighting terrorism,” and said that as part of the struggle to “keep to the routine of our daily lives,” the capital’s Purim celebrations would be held as planned — just a few hundred meters from the scene of the attack, at Safra Square.
A screenshot of Mohammed Salayma’s Thursday Facebook post.