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Two Israelis killed in Jerusalem settlement car-ramming

A child among two dead after suspected Palestinian drives into Israeli crowd and is later shot dead
Israeli emergency responders work at the site of a car-ramming at a bus stop in occupied East Jerusalem on 10 February 2023 (AP)
Israeli emergency responders at the site of a car-ramming at a bus stop in occupied East Jerusalem, 10 February 2023 (AP)

Two Israelis, including a child, were killed and at least five others wounded in a suspected car-ramming in an occupied East Jerusalem settlement on Friday.

A vehicle drove into pedestrians at a bus stop in the Ramot Alon settlement north of Jerusalem, hitting several people. The driver was then shot dead by an off-duty officer at the scene, Israeli police said.

He was identified as a 31-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem with Israeli citizenship, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

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Israel’s ambulance service Magen David Adom initially said six people were wounded, two of them in a critical condition. A six-year-old child and a 20-year-old were later pronounced dead. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a "terrorist attack" in a statement and said the driver's home will be sealed off and demolished. He also ordered the reinforcement of security forces in the city.

Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir arrived at the scene shortly after the incident, along with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai.

The far-right minister said he ordered police to set up checkpoints throughout Issawiya, where the driver is believed to come from, and wanted to put the East Jerusalem neighbourhood under full lockdown. 

He added that these measures were not enough and that he wanted to push the death penalty on Palestinian accused of carrying out attacks.

Last month, a Palestinian man opened fire at Israelis at a settlement in East Jerusalem, killing seven people. Another shooting took place in Silwan a day later, leaving two Israelis wounded.

The suspected car-ramming comes amid increasing Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank since last year. 

Israeli forces have killed 43 Palestinians since the start of January, seven of them this week - a rate of more than one fatality per day since 1 January.

At least 220 Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks in 2022, while 30 Israelis were killed by Palestinians. 

CIA director William Burns warned last week that current tensions bear an "unhappy resemblance" to the Second Intifada

He added that the CIA is working with Israeli and Palestinian security services to prevent "explosions of violence", but admitted that it's "going to be a big challenge".

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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