Jerusalem — One person is dead and more than one dozen people injured after a car drove into a light rail station and onto the sidewalk in Jerusalem in what is being called a terror attack.
Two of the injured in the Wednesday noon attack are in critical condition. The injured were taken to Jerusalem hospitals.
The man killed in the attack was later identified as Israel Border Police officer Jidan Assad, 38, from the Druze village of Beit Jaan.
The driver, identified as Ibrahim Akkari, a Hamas activist from Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem, left his car carrying a metal bar and began attacking police, who shot and killed him.
The driver steered his car into a crowd of people waiting at a bus stop and then crashed into a light rail station, both on the border between western and eastern Jerusalem.
In a news conference at the scene about an hour after the midday attack, Israel’s Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovich said he recommended to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to destroy the homes of such attackers.
It is the second attack of its kind in two weeks. On Oct. 22, a Palestinian driver plowed into a crowd of people at a light rail station on Ammunition in northern Jerusalem, killing a 3-month old dual American-Israeli citizen and a tourist from Ecuador.
“It is a difficult day for Jerusalem. The situation is not easy,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said at the scene.
A Hamas spokesman reportedly praised attack , calling it an act of revenge “for al-Aksa and for the blood of those who guard Al-Aksa.”
The Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount has been the scene of rioting and unrest in recent weeks, including on Wednesday.
Hours after the attack, Netanyahu said it was the “direct consequence of Abbas’s incitement and that of his Hamas partners,” during the official state memorial for slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Mount Herzl.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tweeted that “There can be no forgiveness for those who turn cars into weapons to attack innocent people.”