Driver Slams Truck Into Acre Bus Stop, Killing One

Israeli dies in Jordan accident.

A truck plowed into a crowd waiting at a bus stop in Acre yesterday evening, killing one person and injuring 12 others in what police believe was a deliberate attack.

But police said the attack does not seem to have had a nationalist or racist motive. While the driver's motive is still unclear, he appears to have been distressed by a family dispute, they said.

In another traffic accident, one Israeli was killed and 10 were injured in Jordan when a bus crashed into two vehicles, the Magen David Adom rescue service reported. It was not clear whether the Israelis were in the bus or the private cars.

Channel 10 television quoted MDA as saying two people suffered serious injuries and that all the victims were hospitalized in Jordanian hospitals. Officials said the Israelis would be transferred to Israeli hospitals within hours.

In Acre, the dead man was identified as 20-year-old Ayman Kazel of the village of Maghar, a soldier serving in a unit based nearby. The injured people, three of them in critical condition, were taken to Western Galilee Hospital in nearby Nahariya for treatment, paramedics said.

The truck driver, Gabi Hanufa, tried to flee the scene in his vehicle. But a security guard from the nearby train station fired at the truck's wheels, forcing it to stop.

Hanufa, 45, an Acre resident and father of two, later admitted intentionally crashing the truck, police said.

Hanufa said he did so because the police and Shin Bet security service had "killed" his children. But attorney Ziv Gilad, who came to the Acre police station to represent him, told Haaretz the driver refused to see a lawyer and was babbling. He said this indicated Hanufa was in an extremely difficult emotional state.

Members of the family who gathered outside the police station said Hanufa had a history of psychological problems.

Hanufa was driving his truck on Acre's Herzl Street heading west when he turned toward the railway station. The nearby bus stops were crowded with people, as they are every Thursday evening.

An eyewitness said the truck drove at a furious speed onto the sidewalk and into the people standing there. It then continued toward the railway station and turned right.

A railway security guard drew his rifle and fired at the truck wheels. The truck slowed, but rolled forward for another several hundred meters, hitting private vehicles and a cab, before finally being stopped by a police car blocking the road.

Hanufa climbed down from the truck, shouting and swearing. He was immediately cuffed and taken away by the police.

Hanufa, who works for a cardboard production plant in Acre, is married with two children, aged 6 and 4. His older son is autistic. Officials in Acre's social services department told Haaretz Hanufa found it difficult to deal with his son's special needs.