Israeli man seriously hurt in Berlin attack, wife missing
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Israeli man seriously hurt in Berlin attack, wife missing

Wounded man in hospital after Monday's truck ramming in the German capital; officials trying to locate his wife

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Firefighters look at a toppled Christmas tree after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market and killed several people in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Firefighters look at a toppled Christmas tree after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market and killed several people in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

An Israeli man was wounded during Monday’s attack in Berlin and his wife is missing in the wake of the incident, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Tuesday.

The man, reportedly in his sixties, is seriously wounded, but has underwent surgery and his life is not in danger, the ministry said. His wife has been declared missing and the Israeli embassy is in contact with German authorities.

An Israeli diplomat in Berlin, Leora Givon, went to visit the victim in the hospital, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany reacted “with great sadness” to Monday’s attack, but cautioned against letting terrorism spoil the spirit of the upcoming holidays. “We are deeply shocked. Especially in the pre-Christmas period, when our society focuses on values like charity, goodness and peace, our country was once again hit by this disgusting attack,” the group’s president Josef Schuster, said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with the victims, their relatives and friends. We wish a speedy recovery.”

At the same time, Schuster said, “Our thoughts and deeds must not be overcome by fear and terror.” In a few days, the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays start, Schuster noted. “May the message of these two holidays give us strength in these difficult hours.”

The attack Monday saw a truck plow into a crowded Christmas market in the heart of the German capital, killing at least 12 people and injuring nearly 50 in what police described as an “intentional” act and a suspected “terror attack.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the market carnage was a “terrorist act” likely committed by an asylum seeker.

The truck struck the popular market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church late in the day, as tourists and locals were enjoying a traditional pre-Christmas evening out near the Berlin Zoo station.

Reports said the attacker is a Pakistani man who entered the country about a year ago.

The Islamic State group and al-Qaeda have both called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack crowds. On July 14, a truck plowed into Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 86 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack, which was carried out by a Tunisian living in France.

Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.

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