Police shoot East Jerusalem man vandalizing vehicles in suspected terror act

Officer opens fire when man carrying suspicious object calls out Allahu Akbar; suspect taken to hospital, but no details released on his condition

A vehicle vandalized in an East Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood on April 17, 2023 (Police spokesperson)
A vehicle vandalized in an East Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood on April 17, 2023 (Police spokesperson)

Police in Jerusalem shot and wounded a Palestinian man accused of setting a car on fire and vandalizing other vehicles in the Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Yaakov early Monday, authorities said.

Officials suspect the middle-of-the-night attack was motivated by nationalist sentiment, a police statement said without elaborating.

According to police, officers responding to a complaint about cars being damaged came upon a man in a jacket “holding some sort of object.”

Officers attempted to apprehend the man, identified as an East Jerusalem man in his 20s, and told him to remove the jacket, but he ignored their calls, a police statement said.

“At a certain point, the suspect began muttering Allahu Akbar [“God is great” in Arabic] and other verses, and an officer fired a single bullet at him,” the statement read.

Police said he was brought to a local hospital for treatment but did not elaborate on the location or extent of his injuries.

According to authorities, one car was set on fire and at least 10 more were vandalized.

Pictures distributed by police showed several parked cars with side-view mirrors that had been knocked off. One car showed evidence of more extensive damage, including smashed or blackened windows and what appeared to be light burn marks on a door.

It was unclear if the incident was linked to recent tensions in the capital which spiked following a police raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem earlier this month.

Fighting between officers and Palestinians at the flashpoint site led to two deadly terror attacks, and rocket fire from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, which Israel blamed on Hamas.

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