JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli Border Police officer was shot and wounded in an attack Thursday morning on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem hours after 12 Israeli soldiers were injured in an early morning car-ramming attack in the center of the city.
Also Thursday, an Israeli soldier was injured in a drive-by shooting near the central West Bank settlement of Dolev, making the third attack in 12 hours.
One of the soldiers in the 2 a.m. car-ramming attack next to the popular First Station entertainment center in Jerusalem was seriously injured and required emergency surgery at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, according to the Israel Defense Forces. He reportedly remains on a respirator. The soldiers, who are new recruits, were in Jerusalem ahead of an early morning swearing-in ceremony.
The Border Officer shot was lightly injured. He was standing with other officers, who shot the assailant dead at the scene. The shooter was identified as an Arab-Israeli resident of Haifa who had recently converted to Islam.
The terrorist organization Hamas praised the car-ramming attack, calling it a “practical response” to the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan recently rolled out by President Donald Trump. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem in a statement said the attack was part of “resistance” operations, but did not claim direct responsibility, the AFP news agency reported.
Israeli soldiers continued to search for the driver after locating the car abandoned in a Palestinian village near Bethlehem. The driver, a resident of eastern Jerusalem, was arrested later on Thursday and turned over to the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet for questioning.
“It is only a question of time – and not much time – until we apprehend the attacker. Terrorism will not defeat us; we will win,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.