JERUSALEM (JTA) — The United States condemned as “despicable” a terror attack in Jerusalem that claimed the life of a 3-month-old girl.
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral late Wednesday night in Jerusalem for Chaya Zissel Braun, who is reported to be an American citizen.
Chaya was killed when a driver crashed his car into the light rail stop near Ammunition Hill, in northern Jerusalem, that afternoon as passengers were disembarking. Eight people were injured.
The driver, Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, died early Thursday morning at Jerusalem’s Shaarey Tzedek hospital from gunshot wounds inflicted by Israel Police officers as he fled the scene.
Hours after the attack, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement, “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement that the Jerusalem attack and an attack on the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa are both a result of the rise of radical Islam.
“The terror attacks which took place yesterday almost simultaneously at two sides of the world, Jerusalem and Ottawa, demonstrate again that terrorism is a worldwide epidemic that must be fought strenuously and without compromise,” Liberman said.
“Terror is not the result of building in Jerusalem, Ottawa, New York, Madrid, London or Mombasa, but of the war of radical Islam against the Western world. We stand alongside our friends in Canada, who have demonstrated by their firm stand alongside Israel and again recently in joining the war against ISIS, that they will not give in to terror. Israel, too, will remain firm in the fight against terror and terrorists.”
Family members told the Palestinian Maan news agency that Shaludi, 21, of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, had been released recently from an Israeli prison where he served 14 months. He was the nephew of Mohiyedine Sharif, the former head of Hamas’ armed wing who was killed in 1988.
Shaludi posted messages and video clips in support of Hamas on his Facebook page, the Times of Israel reported.