Police identify the driver as member of Hamas
Police say they shot and killed the driver
The incident was a "terrorist attack," police spokesman says
After hitting pedestrians and cars, driver got out and attacked people with an iron bar
A driver of a commercial van ran over pedestrians at a train stop in eastern Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing an Israeli border police officer and injuring 13 other people before getting out of his vehicle and attacking people with a metal bar, Israeli police said.
Police shot and killed the attacker, identified by Israeli authorities as a member of the Islamist Hamas movement and a resident of the Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp in eastern Jerusalem, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
The attack came on another day of tension between Israelis and Palestinians over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – one of the holiest sites in Judaism and Islam – where Israeli police clashed with Palestinians on Wednesday.
No motive for the van attack was immediately released, but Hamas backed it in a text message to the news media: “Hamas blesses the action. What is happening in Jerusalem is pushing us to prepare for war.”
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld called the incident “a terrorist attack.”
Samri said the incident started when the van hit three border policemen waiting to cross the road.
The van ran over pedestrians standing at the light-train station and continued to travel along the main road, hitting cars, until it struck a vehicle at a main intersection, she said.
The driver got out and attacked people with an iron bar before police shot and killed him, she said. He was 38 years old and had recently been released from prison, Samri said.
Witness Khaled Husseini said he heard police fire about 20 shots. The van crashed in an area of Jerusalem with several large hotels.
Video from the scene showed emergency response workers in orange vests lifting victims into waiting ambulances. At least one body was lying in the road covered with a sheet, but it was not clear whether that was the van’s driver.
Husseini said he saw Israeli police officers lying on the road after being hit by the van.
The attack comes on the heels of two hit-and-run incidents that happened in Jerusalem and the West Bank last month.
On October 22, a Palestinian man rammed his car into commuters waiting at a light rail stop in Jerusalem, killing a baby and wounding several other people, Israeli police said.
Palestinian state news reported that a 5-year-old girl died October 19 after an Israeli settler deliberately ran over her as she returned home from kindergarten near a village to the north of Ramallah in the West Bank, according to medical sources.
A second 5-year-old girl was struck and was listed in critical condition, Palestinian state news said. The driver fled the scene.
CNN’s Michael Schwartz reported from Jerusalem. CNN’s Ralph Ellis and Jason Hanna reported and wrote in Atlanta. CNN’s Greg Botelho, Talal Abu Rahma and Erin McLaughlin contributed to this report.