comment by Jerry Gordon
A cufi wearing crazed Arab Muslim fundamentalist snatches keys to a tractor at a construction site careens into several cars, nearly overturns a bus, injures 16 people, almost severing the leg of one victim, before being shot and killed by a civilian. All this in an area I know well, Moshe Yemin in West Jerusalem near the famous Windmill overlooking the walls of David’s citadel. Obviously this shehada was copying Husam Taysir Dwayat who on July 2nd killed several Israelis, injured more than four dozen others before being shot and killed by a young IDF solider, himself a victim of Israeli police actions during the 2005 Gush Katif expulsion from Gaza. Now Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski says that perhaps they should reconsider employing Arabs from East Jerusalem by denying permits to operate buses and construction vehicles. What is that careworn expression? Oh yes, Dog bites man first time, dog’s fault, second time, man’s fault. Of course the dopey media conflates this to mean that perhaps this crazed Jihadi was out to get…Obama. Problem is, the political media rock star doesn’t arrive till this evening in Israel. The hotel where Obama will be staying at is a few hundred meters from the site of this rampage on King David Street. One thing though. I would be curious to know the identity of the civilian was who had the wits and the weapon to kill the bulldozer driver. He’s the hero today in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Post and AP, July 22, 2008
Sixteen people were wounded, one of them moderately, as a bulldozer driver went on a rampage in central Jerusalem Tuesday afternoon in an apparent attempt to recreate the terror attack in the capital earlier this month.
The vehicle reportedly left a construction site near Yemin Moshe neighborhood and set off towards Liberty Bell Park (Gan Hapa’amon), near the corner of Keren Hayesod and King David streets. It drove a distance of approximately 160 meters, attempting to overturn a bus and crashing into four other vehicles - one of which it flipped over. The man was then shot dead by a civilian and a border policeman.
The wounded were evacuated to hospitals in the capital.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police sealed off possible escape routes into east Jerusalem and were searching for two suspects who fled the scene.
The attack took place in a busy part of downtown Jerusalem, several hundred meters from the luxury hotel where US presidential candidate Barack Obama is supposed to stay Tuesday night as he kicks off a visit to Israel.
The bus that was hit, No. 13, was of the same line of the one that was overturned in the previous attack.
“I was driving on the main road when the (construction vehicle) hit me in the rear, on the right hand side,” the driver of the bus, who was not identified, told Channel 10 TV.
“After I passed him he turned round, made a U-turn and rammed the windows twice with the shovel. The third time he aimed for my head, he came up to my window and I swerved to the right, otherwise I would have gone to meet my maker,” he said.
Witness Moshe Shimshi said the driver, who was wearing a large, white skullcap commonly worn by religious Muslims, slammed into the side of the bus, then sped away and went for a car.
“He didn’t yell anything, he just kept ramming into cars,” Shimshi said.
The driver then headed for cars waiting at a red light “and rammed into them with all his might,” he added.
Channel 10 TV said a mother and her baby were wounded. Israeli rescue services said they had evacuated one person whose leg was partially severed; Israel media said he was in the car that was overturned.
“This was another attempt to murder innocent people in a senseless act of terrorism,” said government spokesman Mark Regev. “All people who believe in peace and reconciliation must unequivocally condemn this attack. Unfortunately, it is clear that we as a society will have to remain vigilant against terrorism.”
Minutes after the attack, the driver, wearing shorts and black shoes, was sprawled backward in the construction vehicle’s cabin, his legs dangling lifelessly.
On July 2, a resident of east Jerusalem rammed a bulldozer into cars, buses and pedestrians on one of Jerusalem’s busiest streets, killing three people and wounding at least 45 others - including a six-month-old baby girl - before being shot dead by security personnel.
The attack began at noon when Husam Taysir Dwayat, a 30-year-old resident of the southeast neighborhood of Sur Bahir, drove out of a nearby light rail construction site and plowed his Caterpillar vehicle into anything and anyone, first on Rehov Sarei Yisrael and then on Jaffa Road, overturning a No. 13 Egged bus, flattening half a dozen cars and leaving destruction and carnage in his wake.
Etgar Lefkovits contributed to this report