Palestinian driver hits 13 Israeli soldiers

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The Independent Online

Thirteen Israeli soldiers were hurt, two of them seriously, when a man drove his car into a crowd in a street yesterday. Police said the incident was a "terror attack" and that the Palestinian driver, who lived in east Jerusalem, was shot and killed by an army officer in the group.

A rescue worker said the group of pedestrians was about to cross a road near the so-called Green Line separating the Arab and Jewish areas of Jerusalem when a black BMW struck them just before 11pm. Despite the late hour, the streets were busy as people walked back from Jerusalem's Old City. "A man in a vehicle struck a number of people in [Israel Defence Forces Square]," said a police spokesman. Israeli television showed footage of a soldier on a stretcher, holding his head, as he was wheeled into an ambulance. Israeli radio reported that the officers from the Artillery Corps were on a tour of the city ahead of the Jewish new year holiday next week. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident. The Israeli Defence minister, Ehud Barak, demanded a speed-up of procedures to allow the destruction of homes of Palestinian attackers "to contribute to deterring potential terrorists". In July, two Palestinians drove diggers into oncoming traffic, killing three Israelis and wounding several others.

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