Attack In Jerusalem Leaves 4 Dead And At Least 15 Others Injured
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Earlier today, four Israeli soldiers were killed and at least 17 injured in Jerusalem after a Palestinian man ran them over with a truck. It's the latest attack in an ongoing wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians over the past several months. NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports from Jerusalem.
JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: It was a sunny, chilly afternoon when the army cadets had just gotten off their buses at the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood at a promenade overlooking the Old City. Lea Schreiber, a 33-year-old tour guide, was about to show the soldiers around. Then she heard something awful.
LEA SCHREIBER: We heard screaming and shouting. And I didn't understand at first what was going on. And I was looking to the road and I saw a truck going up from the road onto the sidewalk. And I saw a lot of soldiers there on the grass.
KAKISSIS: The soldiers had been hit. Schreiber thought it was an accident until she saw the man in the truck reverse and drive over the soldiers again.
SCHREIBER: There was no - not any logic to make reverse. It was very obvious. He wanted to kill.
KAKISSIS: He killed three cadets and one officer, all in their 20s. Three were women. The driver was shot dead.
(SOUNDBITE OF POLICE SIREN)
KAKISSIS: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the attack and said it was inspired by Islamic State, but he offered no evidence to support that claim. The driver was identified as a 28-year-old Palestinian, Fadi al-Qanbar, from the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No, no, no, no.
KAKISSIS: As night fell, his neighbors gathered around a barrel fire to mourn him. His 37-year-old cousin, Samer al-Qanbar, said he also felt sorry for the families of the soldiers killed. He insisted Fadi had no affiliations with Islamists. Since this latest wave of violence began in October 2015, at least 37 Israelis and 231 Palestinians have died. Joanna Kakissis, NPR News, Jerusalem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.