UK & World News

  • 4 August 2014, 16:20

Digger Topples Bus In Israel 'Terror Attack'

At least two people have been killed after a digger was driven into a bus in Jerusalem in what Israel described as a "terrorist attack".

A 25-year-old pedestrian reportedly died after being run down by the construction vehicle before the driver was shot dead by police.

There were no passengers on the bus, but its driver was among three people injured.

An Israeli soldier was later reportedly injured in a shooting at a bus stop near the Hebrew University campus.

It was not immediately clear if the events were connected.

Yossi Farienti, Jerusalem district police chief, said the digger "hit a Jewish citizen at a construction site and then drove about 50 metres down the road, where it overturned the bus with its arm, slightly injuring three people".

Video showed the arm of the mechanical arm tearing into the side of the bus. 

Police said the digger driver was a Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

The country's security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said the attacker's "whole family" was being interrogated to establish whether or not he was acting alone.

Tensions have been high in Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians see as key to any future separate states, since Israel began bombarding the Gaza Strip and a Palestinian teen was allegedly murdered by Israelis to avenge the deaths of three abducted Israelis in the West Bank.

"From the moment fighting started in the south, we realised such an incident of a lone attacker can happen and such tractor attacks are familiar in Jerusalem," Mr Aharonovitch said on Channel 2 television.

"We want to know who sent him, if he was acting alone, whether he belonged to a network - all those things are being checked."

In 2008, three people were killed in two separate incidents when construction vehicles driven by Palestinians hit Israeli buses and pedestrians.

Three years later, an Arab truck driver drove into cars and pedestrians in Tel Aviv, killing one person.

The latest killing came as Israel was accused of breaking a partial seven-hour humanitarian truce it had called in Gaza, which has now expired.

Palestinian medics said an eight-year-old girl died and 30 other people were wounded in an attack on a house in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City.

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