A three-month old baby was killed in Jerusalem and eight other people wounded – one seriously – in what Israel police described as a “terrorist attack” when a speeding car drove onto a pavement crowded with pedestrians alighting from the city’s light railway.
The child killed in the attack was later named as Chaya Zissel Braun, a US citizen, whose family had been visiting the Western Wall.
Video footage posted on social media showed a car on the main road slowing slightly before crossing to the train tracks and climbing on to the station pavement, ploughing through the people standing on it.
The incident occurred on Wednesday evening at about 6pm on Road 1 – one of Jerusalem’s main arterial roads – as passengers were getting off one of the city’s light railway trains at a stop on Ammunition Hill near the national police headquarters.
A paramedic who was at the scene said he treated the baby’s mother for a serious head wound and that the car had hit the baby’s stroller.
The driver of the car, a 20-year-old resident of Silwan in East Jerusalem named as Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, was shot by police officers as he apparently attempted to flee the scene. He died a few hours later.
Although Shaludi’s family told journalists later that the incident had been an accident, Israeli officials said he was a former Palestinian prisoner and “a member of Hamas” who had served several prison sentences including for preparing petrol bombs.
Silwan, a neighbourhood bordering on Jerusalem’s old walled city, has been a focal point of violence in past weeks with Palestinians protesting against Israeli settlers moving into houses in the predominantly Palestinian-populated district.