Perpetrator of deadly truck-ramming was "IS supporter": Netanyahu

2017-01-08 17:21:02 GMT2017-01-09 01:21:02(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Emergency responders work at the scene of a truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2017. At least four people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded on Sunday as a Palestinian rammed his truck at a group of soldiers in Jerusalem, said officials. (Xinhua/Guo Yu)

JERUSALEM, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the perpetrator of Sunday's truck-ramming attack, which killed four soldiers in Jerusalem, was an apparent adherent of the Islamic State.

Palestinian media identified the perpetrator as Fadi al-Qanbar from East Jerusalem's Jabel Mukaber neighborhood.

Israel's police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that the incident -- which took place in Armon Hanatziv, a popular promenade that overlooks East Jerusalem's Old City -- was a "terrorist attack," although the investigation has yet to be concluded.

At noon, the assailant drove his truck into pedestrians, killing four soldiers, three of them women, and wounding 15 more, Samri said.

Israel's Channel 2 TV news broadcast security camera footage showing the truck driving at high speed off the road and plowing into the crowd. The truck is seen reversing quickly, apparently attempting to drive over more people, before the driver was shot dead by soldiers.

"We know the identity of the attacker, and all signs suggest that he was an Islamic State supporter," Netanyahu said in a press conference at the site of the incident.

"This is part of the same pattern inspired by Islamic State that we saw first in France, then in Germany and now in Jerusalem," he said.

"This is part of the same ongoing battle against this global scourge of the new terrorism," he said, calling for a global action against these attacks.

Israeli security forces took several "punitive measures," including closing all the exits and entries of Jabel Mukaber.

Interior Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Israel will not transfer the body of the attacker to his family. Israel has been withholding bodies of dozens of attackers and suspects as a measure the authorities say aims to "deter" more attacks.

The attack was one of the deadliest amidst a more than yearlong wave of violence. Last June, two gunmen killed four persons at a trendy recreation compound in Tel Aviv.

An ongoing wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel has claimed the lives of at least 235 Palestinians and 34 Israelis since September 2015.

Israeli leaders accuse the Palestinian National Authority of "inciting" the unrest, while the Palestinians say it is the result of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, home to more than five million Palestinians, where they wish to establish their state.