Israeli police flooded into Arab neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem to calm tensions after a Palestinian motorist with a history of anti-Israel violence slammed his car into a crowded train station in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a three-month-old baby girl and wounding eight people.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned any future attacks on Jerusalem will be met with the “harshest response“.
“Jerusalem is united and was, and always will be, the eternal capital of Israel.
“Any attempt to harm its residents will be met with the harshest response,” he said in a statement.
The girl and her parents, who were injured in the attack, were US citizens, according to Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.
The violence came after months of tensions between Jews and Palestinians in east Jerusalem — the section of the city the Palestinians demand as their future capital. The area has experienced unrest and near-daily attacks on the city’s light rail by Palestinian youths since a wave of violence over the summer, capped by a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.
The car struck the train station near the national headquarters of Israel’s police force.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the driver got out and tried to flee before he was shot by a police officer.
He said footage captured by security cameras indicated the driver deliberately struck people waiting at the stop.
“We look at this incident as a terrorist zattack,” Rosenfeld said. He said the area was cordoned off and forensic and bomb disposal experts were on the scene examining the car.
The footage showed the car turning out of moving traffic and heading straight into the station, accelerating while ploughing through several rows of people.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved