Two killed, including child of 6, as car hits pedestrians in occupied East Jerusalem

Five injured in incident at bus stop described by Israeli police as "ramming terror attack"

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A child of 6 was one of two people killed when a car hit pedestrians at a bus stop in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, Israeli police said.

Five people were injured in the incident, which police described as a “ramming terror attack”, in Ramot, a Jewish settlement.

Officers said an off-duty detective shot and killed the driver at the scene.

Israeli rescue services identified the dead as a boy of 6 and a man in his 20s.

It said medics were treating five injured, including a child of 8 who was in a critical condition and undergoing CPR.

The other injured, whose ages range from 10 to 40, were in moderate to serious condition, said officials.

They had been waiting at the bus stop when the car struck them, police said.

“It was a shocking scene,” said paramedic Lishai Shemesh, who was driving by at the time of the attack.

“I was in the car with my wife and children and noticed a car driving fast into the bus stop and crushing the people who were waiting there.”

Police said the driver was a Palestinian in his 30s from East Jerusalem. Palestinian media identified him as Hussein Qaraqa, 32.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a terrorist attack and ordered security forces to be reinforced.

Palestinian militant groups Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and Islamic Jihad praised the suspected attack but did not immediately claim responsibility.

Speaking at the scene, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered police to set up checkpoints around the driver’s neighbourhood of Issawiya to “check every vehicle”.

The UAE strongly condemned the attack.

In a statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation affirmed its rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at undermining security and stability and expressed condolences to the Israeli government and to the families of the victims.

The US also condemned the attack in Jerusalem. “The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is repugnant and unconscionable,” a statement by the State Department said.

Tensions have soared in occupied East Jerusalem since a Palestinian gunman killed seven people and wounded at least three on January 27, in the deadliest attack in the city in more than a decade.

Hostilities have escalated in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank since Israel stepped up raids last spring, following a series of deadly Palestinian attacks in Israel.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest year in those territories since 2004, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Last year, 30 people were killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

So far this year, 43 Palestinians have been killed, according to a count by The Associated Press — 10 of them in an army raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Updated: February 11, 2023, 11:40 AM