09/23/2008, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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Author of attack against soldiers was from Jerusalem

He was 19-year-old Qassem al-Mughrabi, who was immediately killed by the soldiers. It is the third time that a resident of East Jerusalem has carried out an attack using a vehicle. The young man's family says that he did not have terrorist intentions, but was only the victim of a traffic accident.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The driver who struck a group of soldiers yesterday evening, wounding 17 of them, was a Palestinian inhabitant of East Jerusalem. He was 19-year-old Qassem al-Mughrabi, whose family lives in the Al Farouk neighborhood in the ancient part of the city.

The attack took place yesterday evening in Tzahal Square. The soldiers were going to the Wailing Wall, on the occasion of the upcoming Jewish new year (Rosh Hashanah), which will be celebrated next September 29.

Qassem al-Mughrabi was killed by one of the soldiers he had tried to hit. According to statements released to the media, the soldier first fired into the air, and then at the driver at the wheel of the BMW that struck some members of the group. Qassem's family maintains that the attack was simply the result of a traffic accident.

This is the third time that a vehicle has been used in an attack against Israeli citizens or soldiers. So far, all of the drivers have been residents of East Jerusalem. Last July, two Palestinians used vehicles from a construction company to strike pedestrians, killing three of them and wounding a number of others.

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