Behind The Headlines: Jerusalem Bulldozer Attack
Via Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Behind the Headlines: Bulldozer attack in Jerusalem
It was shortly before noon on the second day of the summer vacation when the attack began. A terrorist drove a large bulldozer straight into civilian traffic on Jerusalem's main artery, Jaffa Road.
Terror purposely targets civilians, and this terrorist was no different. He chose his victims deliberately, starting his attack by motioning for a woman driver to precede him. Then he crushed her car with the bulldozer's shovel. By the time his rampage was over, three Israeli civilians were dead and over 45 were wounded.
The bulldozer had plowed into two public buses carrying passengers, overturning one of them. He crushed a number of cars with their drivers still in them, and targeted several pedestrians chasing them down and running them over. Among his innocent victims was an infant, who was injured in the attack and taken to hospital. Eyewitnesses told police that in her last moments, the murdered mother saved her baby by throwing the child out the car window just before the bulldozer crushed her to death. The reign of terror in downtown Jerusalem only ended when police climbed onto the rampaging vehicle, and shot and killed the terrorist.
This attack did not occur in a vacuum. The terrorists of the region are indoctrinated and driven by a blind hate for Israelis, Jews and all non-Moslems, denying them their most basic rights, even their right to life.
The attack took place in Jerusalem, a holy city which serves as Israel's capital, yet is shared by Jews and Arabs, with full social rights and freedom of movement for all its residents, whether Israeli or Palestinian. While the terrorist was an Arab resident of Jerusalem, so too was the driver of the first bus he attacked. This bus driver, who serves as an example of the cooperation that can be achieved between Jerusalem's citizens, was able to swerve his vehicle and minimize the damage of the bulldozer's blade, saving his passengers' lives.
This terror attack is particularly disturbing as it took place despite the ongoing peace efforts. The attack comes as Israel is actively pursuing peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas. Israel will continue its efforts to achieve peace with its pragmatic Palestinian neighbors, despite the efforts of the extremists to torpedo the process.
It also happened as an Egyptian-brokered state of calm had just been achieved regarding Gaza, in which Israel demonstrated its desire to exhaust all efforts to achieve a halt to terrorist rocket attacks against its citizens, without having to resort to the use of force. The terrorists and their supporters should be aware that Israel will not allow them to exploit the calm in the South to re-channel their efforts to launch attacks within Israel's populations centers.
International action to vanquish terrorism is essential. The international community must weigh in on the side of pragmatism and peace. A clear and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism must be heard, and concrete actions against terror organizations and their supporters must be taken, so that the extremists know that there will be no tolerance for their barbaric acts.