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Deadly tractor incident in Jerusalem called terror attack

JTA

August 4, 2014 | 8:36 am

<em>An overturned bus lies at the scene of a suspected attack in Jerusalem on Aug. 4. Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters</em>

An overturned bus lies at the scene of a suspected attack in Jerusalem on Aug. 4. Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters

A tractor rammed a bus and a car, killing one, in Jerusalem, in what police are calling a terrorist attack.

Police shot and killed the driver of the industrial digger, reportedly a Palestinian man, in the incident Monday on Shmuel HaNavi Street, in north-center Jerusalem.

The tractor hit and crushed a pedestrian, who later died, before hitting a car and overturning a bus. The bus was empty, except for the driver, at the time. The drivers of the bus and the car were lightly injured.

Video taken of the incident by a bystander and broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 showed the tractor ramming the bus repeatedly until it toppled.

The driver was identified on Twitter as Mohamad Jabis, in his 20s, of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. He reportedly worked on the construction site from where the digger was taken. Pro-Palestinian tweets accused Israel Police of shooting and killing Jabis for being involved in a simple traffic accident.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch in an interview on Channel 2 did not name the tractor driver but indicated he may have been involved in a previous terror incident. Aharonovitch also said the man’s “entire family is under investigation.”

Tractors have been used in the past in Jerusalem to carry out terror attacks.

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