A truck has rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers who were disembarking from a bus in Jerusalem on Sunday, killing four people and wounding 15 others, Israeli police and rescue services said.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the truck veered off course and rammed into the group in the Armon Hanatziv neighbourhood. She said the attacker was shot dead.
Paramedic Chen Lendi Sharon was among the first to arrive on the scene and described 10 bodies trapped beneath the truck.
Israel’s rescue service MDA said the four casualties were in their 20s and included three women and a man. Of the 15 wounded, one was in serious condition.
Israel’s police chief Roni Alsheich told reporters the attacker was from an Arab neighbourhood in east Jerusalem and forces had no advance warning. He refused to elaborate and a gag order was placed on further details pending an investigation.
It would rank as one of the deadliest in a more than yearlong wave of Palestinian shooting, stabbing and vehicular attacks against Israelis that had slowed of late. Sunday’s incident marks the first Israeli deaths in three months.
Since September 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 40 Israelis and two visiting Americans. During that time, 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were attackers while the rest died in clashes. The Palestinians and rights groups have accused Israel of using excessive force in some confrontations.
Israel says the violence is driven by a Palestinian campaign of incitement, while Palestinians say it’s the result of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation and dwindling hopes for an independent state.