Friday, June 11, 2010

11-Jun-10: Terrorism by vehicle

An incident in East Jerusalem today - two reports, two realities

Israeli border guards kill Palestinian after car hits them [AFP]
(AFP) JERUSALEM — Israeli border guards shot dead a Palestinian man on Friday after he struck two of them with his car in mostly Arab east Jerusalem, police and Palestinian medics said. "The man struck two members of the border guard with his car, lightly wounding one of them and more seriously wounding the other," Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben Rubi said. He said the border guards then shot him "after he fled on foot and did not heed warning shots," without saying whether the man had died or not. Dr Amin Abu Ghazaleh of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said one man was killed and two others were wounded in the incident. Israeli police had earlier gone on high alert in and around the Old City in east Jerusalem, fearing violent protests in the wake of the deadly seizure of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla by naval commandos that sparked international outrage. They also limited access to the city's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound to men over the age of 40 and women and children ahead of Friday prayers. It was not immediately clear if Friday's violence had any political motive. The mosque compound, located in the Old City, is the third most sacred site in Islam. It was there that Arab anger over a visit by then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon sparked a Palestinian uprising in 2000. Clashes erupted across mostly Arab east Jerusalem in March over the reopening of a 17th century synagogue a few hundred metres (yards) from the mosque and rumours that Jewish extremists planned to destroy the compound. Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it to its capital in a move not recognised by the international community. The Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state.
On May 31, Israeli naval commandos stormed a Turkish ship that was part of an aid flotilla seeking to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Ensuing clashes left nine Turkish activists dead.

Palestinian runs over policemen in Jerusalem [YNet]
Four Border Guard officers lightly injured after being hit by pickup truck in Wadi Joz neighborhood. Assailant attempts to escape by foot before being shot to death by Border Guard force. Police believe incident a terror attack
Shmulik Grossman
Latest Update:     06.11.10, 18:04 / YNet Israel News
Four Border Guard officers were lightly injured Friday after being run over by a Palestinian driving a pickup truck in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. The driver was shot, and quickly died of his wounds. His body was later snatched from the hospital and he was buried at a cemetery near the Temple Mount.
After the incident, the assailant attempted to escape by foot and was shot by a Border Guard force stationed in the area. He was critically wounded and died shortly afterwards. Police suspect the incident was nationalistically motivated.
According to an initial investigation, the Palestinian spotted the Border Guard officers arriving at the neighborhood following warnings of upcoming riots. Soldiers belonging to a Border Guard training base were walking single file when the driver began speeding and driving towards them. Some of the policemen managed to jump to the side, but four of them were hit by the vehicle and evacuated to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital. The company commander began chasing the assailant, who tried to flee the scene. According to the police, he was shot after failing to obey the police's call to stop.
The driver was evacuated by the Red Crescent to the al-Maqasid Hospital in east Jerusalem. Another passenger who was in the car with him was apparently injured by stones hurled at the road earlier and was evacuated to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital. The police are looking into his version that the driver who run over the officers was trying to evacuate him to receive medical treatment. Later Friday, the driver's body was snatched from the hospital, and he was laid to rest at a cemetery near the Temple Mount.
Following the incident, thousands of Police and Border Guard officers were deployed throughout the capital, particularly in its east, for fear of riots and additional attempted attacks. They set up temporary road blocks to inspect vehicles entering the city.
Corporal Shai Hazan, one of the officers injured in the incident, said from his hospital bed: "We were walking single-file towards the exit from Wadi Joz, and we saw a Toyota pickup truck slowly approaching us. He suddenly stepped on the gas pedal and sped up his car, flinging me and my comrades to the side." Hazan was wearing a bullet-proof vest and a helmet at the time of the incident. He said he barely remembers what happened after being hit. "He rammed into us, I flew from the force of the blow, and afterwards, everything was blurry," he said.
Palestinians have attempted to run over members of the security forces several times in the past. In April 2009, two policemen were lightly hurt after being hit by a Palestinian car near the Hizme checkpoint, north of Jerusalem. The driver was arrested and taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet. A week earlier, a resident of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher tried to run over members of the security forces during the sealing of the home of a terrorist who murdered three people in the first bulldozer attack in Jerusalem. Three Border Guard officers were lightly injured, and the assailant was shot and died of his wounds shortly afterwards.

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