A motorcycle rider shot and seriously injured a soldier in East Jerusalem Monday afternoon, hours after a tractor driver rammed a bus in the capital, in apparent twin terror attacks, police said.
The shooting took place on Hanadiv Street, which separates the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz from the Hebrew University. The soldier, 20, was rushed to the nearby Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was listed in serious condition.
Security forces chased the gunman, who had reportedly escaped into Wadi al-Joz. A security guard opened fire on the gunman, police said.
Jerusalem police chief Yossi Pariente said the soldier was “shot at close range by a man dressed in black,” adding that the shooting was, with “very, very high likelihood,” a terror attack.
The Jerusalem police chief said security forces were scouring the area for the shooter, “so far without results.”
A picture shown on Channel 2 showed the soldier being treated on the sidewalk with a wound to his stomach.
Officials at the Hebrew University stressed that the university campus was secure, and that the shooting had taken place outside the university compound.
Responding to the two attacks, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Israelis — and especially Jerusalem residents — must remain vigilant, “and no less important, continue with their daily lives.”
Barkat stressed that disrupting Israeli life “is exactly what the terrorists are trying to do to us,” adding that civilians in the country “mustn’t give the [terrorists] that reward.”
Earlier on Monday afternoon, a driver of an excavator ran over a pedestrian and overturned a bus on the city’s Shmuel Hanavi Street, killing one person and injuring six. The driver, identified as 19-year-old Muhammed Naif el-Ja’abis, was shot and killed by police who ran to the scene.
Ja’abis was a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. The family of Ja’abis argued that the suspected attack was actually a car accident, and that Ja’abis was shot by police in cold blood. Security officials asserted that the excavator driver’s assault may have been a revenge attack, as the man’s cousin had had his house in East Jerusalem demolished two weeks ago.
Ja’abis is known to police from a previous, unspecified, security-related matter, Channel 2 reported.
A security official asserted that the two attacks were unrelated to each other, according to Channel 2.