Jerusalem ramming attack leaves five injured

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu calls incident 'another attempt to murder Israeli citizens'

Israeli police and emergency teams gather at the scene after a car injured five people near Mahane Yehuda market, Jerusalem. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Five people were injured in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem, Israeli police said on Monday.

The driver was shot and killed at the scene near the city's busy Machane Yehuda market.

Israeli media identified the attacker as Hatem Nejima, 39, a married father of five from East Jerusalem.

Police said investigations into the incident were continuing.

Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service said one man in his 70s was in a serious condition and a woman in her 30s was in a moderate condition. The remaining three injured were said to be recovering well.

Shortly after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “another attempt to murder Israeli citizens”.

He added that the attack was a reminder that “the land of Israel and the state of Israel were acquired through many tribulations”.

Israeli media reported that Gaza-based Hamas had praised the attack, saying: “The heroic ramming operation in the city of Jerusalem comes as a response to the crimes of the occupation and the violation of the sanctity of the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque.”

The violence came as Israel was set to mark its Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of militant attacks, beginning at sundown on Monday, followed by its 75th Independence Day the following evening.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip were set to be closed off to all Palestinians wishing to leave except for humanitarian cases, a closure expected to continue until late on Wednesday.

Israel regularly tightens restrictions on movement out of the West Bank and Gaza during holidays in what it says is a security precaution.

Hours earlier, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli forces operating in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank had killed a Palestinian man.

The ministry identified the man as Suleiman Ayesh Awaid, 20, and said he was fatally shot in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. The camp has been the scene of fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinians in recent months.

The Israeli military said it was operating in the area when two suspects were spotted fleeing. Soldiers opened fire and struck at least one of the suspects.

Updated: April 24, 2023, 5:41 PM