At least four Israeli soldiers have been killed and several more wounded after a truck rammed into the troops in Jerusalem with authorities calling it a deliberate attack.
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Jerusalem, said the driver of the attacking vehicle was shot dead following the incident on Sunday.
“Disturbing CCTV footage shows the truck coming down the street, clearly the driver spotted the soldiers when he hit them,” Smith said.
At least 10 soldiers were trapped under the truck but later rescued with three in critical condition, he quoted a medical official as saying.
Leah Schreiber, a witness, told reporters: “He drove backward to crush more people. That was really clear.”
An image posted on social media showed a white lorry with several bullet holes through its windscreen.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the victims were disembarking from a bus when suddenly the lorry driver “ran his vehicle into them”.
A police spokeswoman said on Israel Radio it was “a terrorist attack, a ramming attack”, adding bodies were “strewn on the street”.
Police said the dead, three women and one man, were all in their 20s, without identifying them further. Soldiers’ deaths are announced in Israel only after families are notified.
The attack comes amid a more than year-long wave of Palestinian shooting, stabbing, and vehicular attacks against Israelis that has slowed of late. Sunday’s incident marks the first Israeli casualties in three months.
Since October 2015, 247 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese have been killed in the wave of violence, according to an AFP news agency count.
Israel says the violence is driven by Palestinian incitement. Palestinians say it’s the result of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation.
The Palestinian Hamas group that governs Gaza praised Sunday’s attack.
“We bless this heroic operation resisting the Israeli occupation to force it to stop its crimes and violations against our people,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters news agency.