image Photo: Flash90

Jerusalem: two terror attacks in 24 hours

14 Israelis were injured in a vehicular ramming attack at a popular venue in Jerusalem early this morning, of whom 12 are IDF soldiers and the others civilians. 7 of the injured soldiers were evacuated to area hospitals for further medical treatment, 2 of whom remain hospitalized in moderate-to-critical condition.

The assailant fled then fled the scene, although his car was later tracked to the West Bank Palestinian town of Beit Jala near the city of Bethlehem. The assailant, whose identity is known to Israel’s security authorities, remains at large.

A gag order has been placed on further details of the ongoing investigation into the incident, which is being investigated as a terror attack.

While the Jerusalem court has issued a gag order on details of the ongoing investigation into the attack; Police Commander Ronen Ovadia emphasized that Israel is prepared to handle incidents of all types, vowing “We will continue to provide security to our residents.”

In another terror-related incident int the Israeli capital this morning, an Islamist-gunman opened fire with a pistol at a police security point soon exiting his vehicle near the Lion Gate into the Old City, not far from the Temple Mount.  Border police forces, who were on high operational alert, immediately returned fire and “neutralized” the attacker, who died of his injuries. Police confirmed to TV7 one officer was evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital for treatment to light injuries, reportedly to his hand.

Israeli Police Commander Haim Shmueli identified the assailant as a Muslim resident of northern Israel, who had recently converted to Islam and known to police from previous criminal offenses. Commander Shmueli noted that while the investigation in ongoing, initial assessment does not indicate a connection between the vehicular and shooting attacks in Jerusalem, which occurred within hours of one another. “It is true that there is tension in the recent period, in recent days,” the Police chief said, underscoring that the force is “well prepared” and has “deployed additional units” particularly before the Friday Islamic prayer services.