Hamas takes responsibility for Jerusalem van attack
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Hamas takes responsibility for Jerusalem van attack

Terror group praises Palestinian man who drove into a crowd, killing border policeman, injuring several more Israelis

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli police and rescue workers inspect the car driven deliberately by a Palestinian man into a crowd of pedestrians in Jerusalem, on November 5, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Gali Tibbon)
Israeli police and rescue workers inspect the car driven deliberately by a Palestinian man into a crowd of pedestrians in Jerusalem, on November 5, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Gali Tibbon)

Hamas claimed responsibility for a car ramming terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday in which a Palestinian man drove his car into pedestrians, killing a border policeman and injuring more than a dozen other people.

The Islamist terror organization, which rules the Gaza Strip, also called for a third intifada in Jerusalem.

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri tweeted a message of support for the attack.

“We join hands with those who avenge the blood of those injured in al-Aqsa,” he wrote, referring to the Temple Mount enclosure.

The Islamic Jihad terror group described the attack as “heroic” and said it was the response of the Palestinian people to continued attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel Radio reported.

Palestinian Ma’an news agency identified the terrorist as 48-year-old Ibrahim al-Akary, from Shuafat in East Jerusalem.

Police said the driver plowed into several pedestrians at a light rail station on the corner of Bar Lev and Shimon Hatzadik streets, close to the Border Police headquarters on Route 1, and then continued driving along the tracks, hitting several cars along the way until finally crashing to a halt.

Ibrahim al-Akary (photo credit: Twitter/Qassam_Arabic)
Ibrahim al-Akary (photo credit: Twitter/Qassam_Arabic)

Akary got out of his commercial van and began attacking a group of policemen with a metal bar before Border Police at the scene shot and killed him.

Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades tweeted out pictures it said showed the man, who it called Akazi, one of which showed him lying on the ground after being shot.

The attacker’s brother, Musa Muhammad al-Akary, served 19 years in an Israeli prison for the 1992 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Nissim Toledano. He was released in the 2011 deal that freed IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity, and was expelled to Turkey.

The incident came amid increasing violence in East Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount as security forces clash with Palestinian rioters.

On Wednesday the site was briefly closed after Palestinians attacked police with rocks and fireworks. Police dispersed the masked rioters near the Mughrabi Gate to the compound with methods including stun grenades, a police spokesman told The Times of Israel.

Israel Radio reported that police chased the rioters into the al-Aqsa Mosque. Police took the rare measure of entering several meters into the mosque, where they saw a stash of stones, bottles, and Molotov cocktails that the demonstrators had prepared.

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