Israeli officials on Sunday identified the Palestinian woman who detonated explosives in a car near Jerusalem earlier in the day as a 31-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.
The security forces did not release the name of the woman, who the Shin Bet security service said was currently living in the West Bank city of Jericho. The Shin Bet said she had no previous convictions and had not been known to the Israeli authorities.
The Shin Bet said in a statement that around 7 a.m. a traffic police officer noticed that the woman was driving in the public transportation lane while tailgating a police vehicle.
Police said officers noticed a suspicious vehicle driven by a woman heading toward a checkpoint on the way to Jerusalem and signaled to her to stop. The woman then yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is most great) and set off the explosive detonator in her car, a police statement said. A gas canister in her car did not explode, however.
Handwritten slips of paper voicing support for “Palestinian martyrs” were found on her person, the Shin Bet said.
The police officer who stopped the woman was lightly injured, while she was severely injured in the explosion. She was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood for treatment.
The car was bearing Israeli, rather than Palestinian, license plates. Police found the gas canister in the vehicle and said that the woman had intended to carry out a bombing in Jerusalem.
Initial reports pointed to a possible suicide bombing, saying that the woman had died in the attack. Police later said the woman exited her car just before the bomb went off, indicating that it may not have been a suicide bombing attempt.
Paramedics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service arrived at the scene minutes after the incident.
Aharon Adler, an MDA paramedic described the scene.
“When we arrived, we were led to a man in his thirties who was fully conscious,” Adler said. “He was walking around, and suffering from burns to his upper body. We treated him and evacuated him to the hospital in light, stable condition.”
Adler said it was initially difficult to approach the Palestinian bomber in her car.
“When we could approach the car, we treated the driver, who was conscious, with burns all over her body, and evacuated her to the hospital in serious condition,” he said.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a massive call-up of Border Police forces in an effort to quell the ongoing wave of unrest and violence in Israel and the West Bank that has seen a week of almost daily terror attacks against Israelis.
On Saturday morning, a Palestinian teenager stabbed and wounded two ultra-Orthodox Jews, aged 62 and 65, just outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem. Police shot and killed the 16-year-old stabber, later identified as Ishak Badran of Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem.
Hours later, another East Jerusalem teenager was killed while carrying out a similar attack. Muhammad Said Muhammad, 19, from Shuafat, stabbed a Border Police officer in the neck, also outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate, before being shot dead by other officers.
The wave of attacks started in Jerusalem last month over what Israel insists are unfounded Palestinian claims that Israel is expanding its presence at the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.