Weeks after a deadly bulldozer attack in Jerusalem, another palestinian has decided to emulate the feat.
A Palestinian bulldozer driver went on a rampage in downtown Jerusalem on Tuesday, wounding at least 16 people, just weeks after a similar attack in the capital left three dead.
One of the wounded was in serious condition and the rest sustained light wounds. They were taken to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.
The driver of the tractor struck a bus and at least five cars before being shot dead by security forces, Jerusalem police said. The attacker was identified as Hassan Abu-Tir, a resident of the Tuba village in East Jerusalem, who carried an Israeli identity card.
Television footage showed an elderly woman being wheeled into an ambulance and rescue personnel assisting visibly shocked passersby. A mother and her 9-month-old son were among the lightly wounded.
The copycat attack occurred on the corner of Keren Hayesdod and King David streets in dowtown Jerusalem, down the road from the hotel where U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama was to be staying later in the day.
I’ll keep you posted on any further developments.
Updates (Israel time)
3:30PM: Israel National News reports that one of the injured is in moderate condition, with an amputated leg. It also reports that minutes after the terrorist’s name was publicized over the radio, a gag order was issued prohibiting it from being disseminated, “apparently because of his family connections with a prominent Hamas family.”
3:32PM: Ynet is reporting at least 18 injured.
3:35PM: Today’s hero who shot dead the terrorist is reportedly 53-year-old Yaki Asael from Susia, an IDF Company Commander (res.), teacher and a farmer, with eight children and six grandchildren.
3:40PM: Latest count: 24 injured
3:43PM: The terrorist, Ghasam Abu-Tir, is a relative of Hamas “lawmaker” Muhammad Abu Tir. Or “Red Beard” for the uninitiated.
3:55PM: In yet another feeling of deja vu, the terrorist was a palestinian with an Israeli ID card, and had a criminal record.
3:58PM: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:
“We always oppose terror incidents..and we call out against such incidents. We pray for the injured people’s recovery.”
Normally, he says he condemns the terror attacks because they “do not serve palestinian interests.” I assume he did not say this today since he issued the statement from Israeli President Shimon Peres’ residence.
4:03PM: According to this report, the terrorist was wearing a large, Jewish skullcap. The report also indicates that things could have been even worse.
“[The driver] tried to bring the blade of the bulldozer on the head of a pedestrian, but missed her by an inch,” said one eyewitness.
4:18PM: The top 4 excuses for the terrorist’s actions, which will inevitably surface today:
4. He was actually shooting a scene from a movie about the tractor/bulldozer attack a few weeks ago, but he got a bit too “into the role.” Being from the Marlon Brando school of method acting and all.
3. He was a bad driver. A really bad driver.
2. He got upset after a group of Jews teased him about his relative’s red beard.
1. The bulldozer was, in fact, a Zionist DeathdozerTM, activated via remote control, and designed to pin the blame on palestinians.
5:50PM: The AP reports that only 4 people were injured. Missed it by that much.
Also, contrary to the 4:03PM update, The AP reports the terrorist was wearing a Muslim skullcap, indicating he was a “religious” Muslim.
6:05PM: Elder looks at some of the initial palestinian reactions to the terror attack.
As I suspected, palestinian President Abbas has issued from Ramallah a more equivocal condemnation than the one he issued from President Peres’ residence.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, saying it ‘hurts peace efforts’.
Abbas told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah: “We always condemn any terrorist act, and we condemn any attack on civilians regardless of what ‘.
He added: ‘I understand today that there was intentional attack, we certainly condemn it does not accept it, because it marred the reputation and marred the peace in general’.
6:16PM: A further glimpse at the evil witnessed today:
The first person to encounter the bulldozer terrorist on Monday was an English-speaking woman named Sarah who was about to cross the street. The man in the bulldozer indicated with his hand that she could cross and then press on the gas pedal to run her over.
6:23PM: From infolive.tv:
6:27PM: Ha’aretz reports that the Shin Bet chief warned of a copycat terrorist attack 3 hours before today’s attack.
6:40PM: CNN’s current headline: Attack injures 5 near Obama’s Jerusalem hotel
Besides the inaccurate injury tally, notice how the focus of the headline is the fact the attack occurred near Obama’s hotel. As if this matters, and as if there was a connection.