- four dead, (three women, one man), 13 wounded
- driver shot dead
- truck slammed into soldiers near Armon Hanatziv Promenade
- a deliberate attack, say police
- attacker identified as a 28-year-old from East Jerusalem
- PM Netanyahu said attacker is likely an ISIL supporter
Authorities have identified the driver of a lorry, which was deliberately driven into a crowd of Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, as 28-year-old Fadi Qunbar.
In what is being described as a deliberate attack, Qunbar rammed into the group killing four and wounding 13 others.
His uncle, Abu Ali, said the father of four lived in the Mukabar neighbourhood in East Jerusalem near to where the attack took place.
The attack happened on a popular promenade in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem.
A witness told local media that the truck ploughed into a crowd of people, before reversing back over them. The driver was shot dead at the scene.
“Just over half an hour ago a suspect was driving his truck into an area where there were a number of buses and people that were leaving the buses,” Micky Rosenfeld, police spokesman told reporters. “Special patrol units and police arrived at the scene and are still working at the scene, both forensics as well as special patrol units and a heightened security is continuing in Jerusalem after this morning’s terrorist attack,” he added.
The three victims, three women and one man, were all in their twenties.
Micky Rosenfeld, a Jerusalem police spokesman said officers have made arrests since the truck attack took place. Nine residents, including five members of Qunbar’s family are in police custody on suspicion of aiding in the attack.
In an emergency meeting of the Israeli security cabinet, Israeli police and security forces have been authorised to detain suspected ISIL sympathisers without trial.
Government ministers have reportedly called for the demolition of Qunbar’s home and for his body to not be returned to his family for burial.
Israeli police are treating it as a deliberate attack. National police chief Roni Alsheich told reporters he could not rule out that the suspect was motivated by the Berlin Christmas Market truck attack, which killed 12 people last month.
“It is difficult to get into the head of every individual to determine what prompted him, but there is no doubt that these things do have an effect,” Alsheich told reporters.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the suspect was likely a supporter of the so-called Islamic State group.
“We know the identity of the attacker, according to all the signs he is a supporter of Islamic State. We have sealed off Jabel Mukabar, the neighbourhood from where he came, and we are carrying out other actions which I will not detail,” he said in a statement.
Wave of violence
The attack is one of the deadliest in a wave of stabbings, shootings and vehicle ramming assaults against Israelis in the past year.
These type of attacks have killed at least 37 Israelis and two visiting Americans over the past 15 months. Some 231 Palestinians have been killed in Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza strip during the same period. Israel says at least 157 of those killed were assailants. The remainder were killed in clashes and protests.