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Jerusalem 'Terror Attack' Caught On Camera In Shocking GRAPHIC Video

05/11/2014 15:33 GMT | Updated 05/11/2014 15:59 GMT

This is the shocking moment a Palestinian man rammed a minivan into a crowded train platform in East Jerusalem in what officials have branded a terrorist attack.

Before police shot the man dead, he leapt out of the van and attacked people with an iron bar, killing one person and injuring 13.

terrorist

The militant Hamas group took responsibility for the brutal attack - the second such assault in East Jerusalem in the past two weeks - which escalated already heightened tensions between Arabs and Jews in the city.

Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum praised the "glorious operation" and called for more such attacks.

Terrorist attack in Jerusalem

Police identified the attacker as Ibrahim al-Akri, a 38-year-old Palestinian, and said he had recently been released from prison after serving time for security offences.

It said in a statement that al-Akri, "whose blood watered the land of the occupied holy city of Jerusalem, preferred but to retaliate for the blood of his people and the sacredness of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem."

The attack was almost identical to one two weeks ago, also committed by a Palestinian from East Jerusalem who rammed his car into a crowded train station, killing a 3-month-old Israeli-American girl and a woman from Ecuador — not far from the scene of Wednesday's attack.

Earlier Wednesday, graphic images emerged as Israeli police dispersed dozens of masked Palestinians who threw rocks and firecrackers near a contested holy site in Jerusalem's Old City.

Palestinians were forced to run for cover as they were immersed in smoke from stun grenades thrown by police after Israel closed all access to Jerusalem's most sensitive religious site, a rare move that ratcheted up already heightened tensions following the attempted assassination of a prominent Jewish religious activist and the killing of his suspected Palestinian assailant by police.

Terrorist attack in Jerusalem

The Palestinians have accused Israel of a "declaration of war," deepening a crisis fuelled by failed peace efforts, continued Israeli settlement construction and months of simmering violence in the holy city.

While Israel said it would reopen the site on Friday, the increasingly religious nature of the unrest risked igniting further violence.

The Israelis had planned on commemorating a week since the attack on American-Israeli activist Yehuda Glick, who has campaigned for more Jewish access to the location, which Jews refer to as the Temple Mount and Muslims refer to as the Noble Sanctuary. Palestinians view such visits as a provocation and often respond violently. Glick remains in serious condition.

Several police officers were hurt in Wednesday's clashes, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, adding that the police used stun grenades to disperse the Palestinians. Quiet was soon restored, he said.

East Jerusalem has experienced unrest since the summer, with Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at motorists and clashing frequently with Israeli police.

Israel captured East Jerusalem — with its sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians — from Jordan in the 1967 war.

Palestinians demand the territory for their future capital. The fate of the area is an emotional issue for Jews and Muslims and its future lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Much of the recent unrest has focused around a sacred compound revered by both Jews and Muslims. It's the holiest site for Jews, who call it the Temple Mount because of the Jewish Temples that stood there in biblical times. Muslims refer to it as the Noble Sanctuary, and it is their third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.