Middle East

Two dead including child after car rams people at Jerusalem bus stop

By Hadas Gold and Amir Tal, CNN

Jerusalem CNN  —  A car drove into several people at a bus stop in Jerusalem Friday, killing a man and a young child in what Israeli police have described as a “ramming terror attack.”

The child, who died at the scene, was six years old, police spokesperson Dean Elsdunne told CNN’s Hadas Gold. Shaare Zedek hospital later declared a man in his twenties dead of his injuries from the incident.

The suspect, who was “neutralized” at the scene, according to police, has been identified as Hussein Qaraqe, a 31-year-old from east Jerusalem.

Local journalists in the neighborhood reported that Israeli police had arrested Qaraqe’s wife, father and brother, sharing videos of what they said were the arrests.

Five other people were wounded in the incident, including two other children, one of whom is in critical condition, the Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency response group said.

Israeli emergency responders gather at the site.

The incident took place at a bus stop at the Ramot intersection in an area that Israel considers to be a neighborhood in northern Jerusalem.

It is on land that Israel captured from Jordan in 1967 and then annexed, so Palestinians and many international observers consider it to be a settlement on occupied land.

Suspect released from hospital just before attack

The suspect, Qaraqe, had been released from a hospital in Tel Aviv the night before the incident, his uncle told CNN.

He had been in hospitalized for a month due to a back injury, said Adnan Qaraqe.

“He had a car accident a while ago and severely injured his back which led to more than five surgeries on his spine. He was on very heavy medication and painkillers which affected his nervous system.”

Qaraqe said he did not know if the hospital where his nephew had stayed was a mental hospital or whether Hussein was hospitalized for back pain. He said there would be records at his nephew’s house that would clarify, but the house has been sealed by Israeli authorities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave orders on Friday for the house to be sealed and demolished. Residents of Issawiya told CNN that Qaraqe was not the owner of the house, but had rented it.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir also ordered police checks of vehicles in that neighborhood in the wake of the ramming – and wanted to go further, he said at the scene of the incident.

“I instructed the police to set up roadblocks around Issawiya and stop one by one – one by one – and to simply check every vehicle. I wanted to do a full closure, but there is a legal question about it – and we will discuss it. In any case, I instructed the police to deploy roadblocks, and they are deploying roadblocks around Issawiya,” he said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday responded to the incident in a strongly worded statement on Friday, saying, “We strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on civilians, including children, at a bus stop in Jerusalem and express our condolences to the families of those killed.”

“The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is repugnant and unconscionable. The United States extends our deepest sympathies to the injured, and we stand firmly with them in the face of this attack,” the statement read.

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