The United States on Wednesday condemned the terrorist attack by a Palestinian who rammed his car into pedestrians in Jerusalem, killing a baby.
“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 would not confirm to the Times of Israel that the baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, was a US citizen.
Six other people were injured in the incident, which took place in the early evening. Israeli police called it a “hit and run terror attack.”
The terrorist later died from his injuries.
State Dept statement on Jerusalem terrorist attack today which killed 3 months old baby an American citizen. pic.twitter.com/DtZ28yrRrc
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) October 22, 2014
It was the second such deadly incident in three months, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately order an increase in police presence across the city.
The killer, identified as Abed Abdelrahman Shaludeh, a Palestinian from Silwan in east Jerusalem, died from his injuries early on Thursday, the Shaarei Tzedek hospital said.
The 21-year-old had been shot and wounded as he tried to flee the scene, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
During the early evening attack, the car was driven at top speed into pedestrians near the Ammunition Hill tram stop.
Seven people were hurt, including three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, who later died, said Hadassah hospital. She was buried on Wednesday evening.
Samri described the incident as a “hit and run terror attack” — the second in the area in just under three months.
During the most recent incident in August, a Palestinian man rammed a bus with an excavator, killing one Israeli and injuring five. Police shot the driver dead.
‘Missed us by centimeters’
Witnesses of Wednesday’s attack said the car ploughed into the crowd at great speed.
“We saw a car coming from the north at full speed,” said Eli Dayan. “We realised something was going on. He missed us by a few centimetres.”
Footage of the incident posted on YouTube showed a car driving at full speed off the main road and down the pavement where people were standing as two trams passed each other.
Another clip shot on a cellphone showed the driver lying on the ground in a T-shirt and ripped jeans as a man pointed a gun at him.