Jerusalem: Five injured in Palestinian car ramming attack

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Eati Akter

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Five people have been injured in a car-ramming attack by a Palestinian in central Jerusalem, Israeli police say.

The vehicle hit pedestrians near the busy Machane Yehuda market.

The attacker was shot and killed at the scene by a civilian. Police say the assailant was a 39-year-old man from occupied East Jerusalem.

It came as Israel began to mark Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of attacks – one of the most solemn days in the national calendar.

Speaking at a Memorial Day event, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack was “another attempt to murder Israeli citizens”.

“These terrorist attacks come with the expectation that they will overcome us and will uproot us from here, and if they could, they would murder us all. But they will not overcome us; we will overcome them.”

Footage from the scene just moments after the incident shows a dark-coloured Chevrolet hatchback, its front crumpled and windscreen cracked, at a standstill on a zebra crossing between Kiah Street and Agrippas Street.

A man in a dark blue T-shirt and black jeans is seen slumped over the bonnet, not moving, as police and civilians mill around.

Israel was on heightened alert ahead of Memorial Day, which commemorates soldiers and civilians who have been killed in conflict and attacks since 1860.

The sombre occasion leads into Independence Day on Tuesday night and Wednesday. The day is celebrated with patriotic events, with this year marking Israel’s 75th anniversary.

Palestinians, however, consider Israel’s formation in 1948 as a catastrophe which led to the displacement of up to 750,000 of their people in the Arab-Israeli war that followed.

Monday’s attack comes amid a surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence this year.

In the early hours of Monday, a 20-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed during an Israeli army arrest raid in a refugee camp near the city of Jericho, in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Since the start of this year, more than 90 Palestinians – militants and civilians – have been killed by Israeli forces. Eighteen Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian – all civilians, except for an Israeli paramilitary police officer – have been also killed in attacks by (or suspected to have been carried out by) Palestinians and, in one case, an Israeli Arab.

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