International community condemns Jerusalem terror attack

European Union and Australia join Washington in denouncing fatal ramming of pedestrians at train station

EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen (photo credit: Yossi Zwecker)
EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen (photo credit: Yossi Zwecker)

The European Union and Australia on Thursday condemned a deadly attack that saw a Palestinian terrorist ram his car into Israeli pedestrians standing in a train stop in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a baby and injuring others.

Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel, tweeted his condemnation of the attack, writing, “I strongly condemn terrorist attack in Jerusalem killing a baby and wounding several.”

Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma posted a message on Twitter expressing his shock at the incident.

“Shocked by terrorist attack in Jerusalem + condemn unreservedly,” Sharma wrote. “Esp saddened by death of 3-month-old baby girl. Deep condolences to family.”

Eight other people were injured in the incident, which took place in the early evening. Israeli police called it a “hit and run terror attack.”

Earlier, the US State Department denounced the attack.

“We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

“We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.”

The US State Department did not immediately confirm to The Times of Israel that the baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, was a US citizen.

Chaya Zissel Braun (Channel 2 Screenshot)
Chaya Zissel Braun (Channel 2 Screenshot)

The driver, identified as Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, a Palestinian from Silwan in East Jerusalem, died from his injuries early on Thursday, the Shaare Zedek Medical Center said. The 21-year-old had been shot and wounded as he tried to flee the scene, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

It was the second such deadly incident in three months, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately order an increase in police presence across the city.

Abdelrahman al-Shaludi (photo credit: Channel 2)
Abdelrahman al-Shaludi (photo credit: Channel 2)

During the last attack in August, a Palestinian man driving an excavator rammed a bus, killing one Israeli and injuring five. Police shot the driver dead.

The early evening incident triggered clashes between stone-throwing youths and police in several east Jerusalem neighborhoods which lasted late into the night.

Police warned they would not tolerate any further unrest, referring to clashes which have gripped the eastern part of the city on an almost daily basis for the past four months.

“Jerusalem police emphasizes that it will demonstrate zero tolerance toward any incident of violence and will put its hand on anyone who disturbs public order in the city and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” Samri said in a statement.

Extra police forces were deployed in areas of friction in the capital, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. He said a number of people had been arrested for stone-throwing overnight but declined to give numbers.

“On an operational level, police presence was reinforced with extra border police, a motorcycle unit and other units who specialize in public order,” he said, indicating they were deployed in East Jerusalem areas such as Wadi Joz, Issawiya and Silwan to prevent any fresh unrest.

He said police had activated “a strategic plan” to end the wave of unrest, which would incorporate increased manpower, technological resources and intelligence.

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