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Four Dead In Jerusalem Attack As Truck Rams Into Soldiers

UPDATE: Fadi Qunbar, 28, has been identified as the assailant, with the Israeli military also naming the four soldiers who were killed in the attack.

Originally posted on
Updated on

At least four people have died and 13 have been wounded after a truck rammed into a group of soldiers on a busy sidewalk in Jerusalem on Sunday, according to Israeli emergency services.

Three women and one man, all Israeli soldiers in their twenties, were killed. Yael Yekutiel, 20; Shir Hajaj, 22; Erez Orbach, 20; and Lt Shira Tzur, 20, were later named by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in a tweet commemorating them.

Our deepest condolences to the families & teammates of our fallen sisters & brother, who were murdered in today's t… https://t.co/e1YnTeTgyc

Israeli police chief Roni Alsheikh said the incident was a terrorist attack. Police said the truck veered off the road and rammed into a group of people getting off a bus on Armon Hanatziv Promenade, according to Haaretz.

“Other than the fact that the attacker was from East Jerusalem, I can’t share any details in order to prevent compromising [the investigation],” Alsheikh said.

Later, 28-year-old Fadi Qunbar was identified as the attacker by the Israeli police's spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld also confirmed Qunbar's death, with CNN reporting he was shot dead by two soldiers and a tour guide who is a colonel with the IDF reserves. On Saturday, Sky News reporter on the scene said 11 bullet holes could be seen in the truck's windshield.

Truck that carried out ramming attack in Jerusalem armon hanatziv neighborhood. Injured taken to hospital. Terroris… https://t.co/V15jbCPkP6

There are also multiple reports that the attacker reversed back over where he had driven after ramming into the group.

Moshe Aharon — identified as a bus driver who witnessed the incident — was quoted by Israel Hayom and the Times of Israel as saying: “A group of [people] were standing with their bags near the bus. I had just let them off.

"The truck drove into the group of [people], ran over them and kept going. The [people] shot at the driver. He reversed and ran over them again.”

A graphic video apparently showing CCTV footage of the incident has been shared by Israeli media outlets and appears to confirm much of Aharon's account.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the scene on Saturday afternoon and told reporters at the scene the attacker was likely a supporter of ISIS, based on similarities with truck attacks in Nice and Berlin.

"This is part of the same pattern inspired by Islamic State, by ISIS, that we saw first in France, then in Germany and now in Jerusalem," he said in a statement. "This is part of the same ongoing battle against this global scourge of the new terrorism. We can only fight it together, but we have to fight it, and we will."

Addressing the attack, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat urged residents of the city to remain vigilant and "not let terrorists win," according to Haaretz.

"Unfortunately there is no limit to the cruelty of the terrorists who stop at nothing to murder Jews and disrupt life in Israel's capital," Barakat said.

US Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook condemned what he said was a "terrorist attack that targeted Israel's defense forces."

"The United States remains committed to Israel's security and will stand with Israel to combat all forms of terrorism," he said.

CORRECTION

Three women and one man were killed in the attack. An earlier version incorrectly stated that three men and one woman were killed.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rose Troup Buchanan at .

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