Friday, March 06, 2015

06-Mar-15: Jerusalem, Purim and terror... once again

Without wishing to make a tense situation more so, Purim - which Jerusalem uniquely celebrates today (Friday) a day after the rest of the world - is too frequently associated with acts of terror. (Last year, for instance.)  There appears to have been one in the past hour. It's now 10:00 am Friday and ambulance and police sirens are being heard here in northern Jerusalem as we write this.

Five people, according to a very partial report via Walla!, have been injured in a running-down attack a very short time ago, in which a car struck them on Jerusalem's Shmon Hatzadik Street, near the Jerusalem Light Rail station on Route 1. A different report (Hebrew) says there is a stabbing involved as well, and two female police officers are injured.

According to Ynet (posted at 10:07 am): "According to initial reports, a man rammed his car into a group of Israelis waiting for Jerusalem's Light Rail on Friday morning. Early reports suggest at least three individuals were wounded in the attack."

According to one report, this is today's attack scene opposite the Shimon
Hatzadik quarter and on Jerusalem's busy Route 1 [Image Source]
Israel National News says (at 10:30 am):
ZAKA reported Friday morning that a rampage terror attack occurred a short time ago near the Border Patrol's base in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood in Jerusalem. Initial reports indicate that an Arab driver mowed down three border policewomen on a city sidewalk, injuring them; differing reports indicate that the terrorist left the vehicle and began stabbing them as well, but this has yet to be confirmed. The perpetrator was apprehended; four people - some policewomen - are injured and listed in mild to moderate condition. 
Another report, unpublished, says a meat cleaver was involved, the attacker has been shot, and the people who were run down were all females.

UPDATE: Here's how The Guardian reports it ["Palestinian motorist rams pedestrians in Jerusalem"] in a story that uploaded around 11:30 am Friday, Jerusalem time:
A Palestinian motorist rammed his vehicle into a group of pedestrians standing near a Jerusalem tram stop, injuring at least four, Israeli police said. The incident, which police are treating as a suspected terrorist attack, occurred close to an Israeli border police station on a main road near East Jerusalem, the predominantly Arab side of the city. Police said the driver got out of the vehicle and attempted to stab passersby before he was shot and wounded by a security guard. None of those hit by the car were seriously injured. Friday’s incident happened close to the scenes of a spate of similar attacks late last year when Palestinians drivers rammed their cars into people waiting at tram stops. In those attacks, three people were killed and around a dozen wounded.
Anyone with eyes and a sense of daily events in this part of the world understands that the use of the word "suspected" is entirely superfluous in that account. Nonetheless, we can be certain the clans-people and family members of the driver/attacker will soon claim tearfully, in the spirit of nothing-ventured-nothing-gained, that the poor fellow's GPS malfunctioned while he was driving to volunteer at a soup kitchen for the indigent; the vehicle then skidded out of control into the people standing on the footpath or platform, and the knife or axe or whatever caused the stabbing/slashing injuries to the innocents on the street inexplicably flew into his hand from some unknown recess of the car where parties unknown had hidden it for unknowable reasons. He's an innocent victim.

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