Terrorist attack in Jerusalem as nation celebrates Purim

by Will Hall, |
An Israeli border police woman is comforted by her colleague at the scene of an attack in Jerusalem March 6, 2015. A Palestinian motorist rammed the vehicle into a group of pedestrians standing near a Jerusalem tram stop on Friday, injuring at least seven people, Israeli police said. The incident, which police said they were treating as a terrorist attack, took place on a main road in East Jerusalem, the predominantly Arab side of the city, close to an Israeli border police station. | REUTERS/Ammar Awad

JERUSALEM (Christian Examiner) – A Palestinian man rammed his car into a crowd standing near a light rail station, injuring seven people, and emerged wielding a cleaver before being shot and critically wounded by police at the scene.

Six policewomen and a woman cyclist were wounded in the car attack, according to multiple reports.

Five of the wounded were lightly injured, Haaretz reported, and the other two are in moderate condition.

Security forces were able to respond so quickly to the attack because security had been bolstered as a result of the Purim holiday, a religious holiday commemorating the rescue of the Jewish people in Persia from extermination described in the biblical book of Esther.

The Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as Hamas, issued a statement calling the attack "a natural response to the occupation."

The city does not plan to curtail planned celebrations, Israel Hayom reported.

"We will not allow terrorism to disrupt our lives and we will continue to fight it," Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said.

"Our response to terrorism it to go on with our daily routine," he added, "therefore all Purim events will take place as scheduled, and security across the city will be increased. I invite everyone in Israel to come celebrate Purim in Jerusalem."