JERUSALEM — A car rammed into a crowd Friday at a Jerusalem bus stop, killing a 6-year-old and one other, and injuring five, including an 8-year-old who is in critical condition. The Palestinian driver was fatally shot at the scene, Israeli police reported.
Israel’s Magen David Adom services said the child was pronounced dead and the injured were rushed to the hospital. Israeli police said an off-duty officer killed the attacker. The second Israeli victim, a man in his 20s, died at a hospital, local media reported.
The car-ramming, in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, is the latest in a spiraling cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Tensions are rising fast amid the return to power of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads Israel’s most right-wing government to date as he wages a battle for constitutional reforms, alongside a deepening political void and insecurity among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces on Thursday fatally shot a Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron after he allegedly charged a checkpoint with a knife. Israeli forces and settlers have killed more than 40 Palestinians in the occupied territory this year — the highest rate in years.
In response to Friday’s attack, Netanyahu reinforced security in the area and called for arrests and for the alleged assailant’s house to be sealed off and demolished. Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion called for expanding security at bus stations in the city, as other officials called for further security measures.
Israel’s response to “terrorism is to strike with all our might,” the prime minister said.
Israel frequently demolishes the family homes of alleged Palestinian assailants, a practice human rights groups have criticized as a violation of international law. Palestinian rights groups have also condemned Israel’s fatally shooting combatants and civilians,