Attack in Jerusalem Praised by Hamas

In East Jerusalem, one police officer from Israeli was killed and more than a dozen others were wounded on Wednesday when a Palestinian man drove his van into a group of pedestrians while they waited for a train, said authorities.

The man who attacked the crowd was from Hamas the Palestinian militant organization, which later praised his attack, calling it a revenge for the Israeli actions of recent at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In the assault, that was carried out in two-stages, Ibrahim al-Akri who is 38, drove his van into a station in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of mostly Arabs. He struck amongst others a captain with the Border Patrol.

Akri then drove his van down the street prior to exiting the van and attacking cars with a metal bar. Police then fatally shot him.

The captain with the Border Patrol died later from the injuries he suffered, according to Israeli authorities, while as many as three more of the injured remained in critical condition.

A statement released by Hamas later that afternoon praised the attack by Akri, who was a resident of East Jerusalem.

The Hamas statement said Akri’s attack was a reaction to the recent security and Israeli settler actions at the mosque compound that is considered the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.

Worshippers, who were Muslim and in the compound Wednesday clashed with police from Israel saying the police, stormed the compound.

The compound had been the center of growing tension recently, as last week Rabbi Yehuda Glick an American born activist was the target of an assassination attempt.

The rabbi is part of a movement by the right-wing to replace the mosque with the Third Temple.

He has campaigned to give the Jews the right to pray on Temple Mount, which at this time is forbidden.

Glick was shot while leaving an event at the Temple Mount and police quickly fatally shot a Palestinian they said carried out the shooting.

For months, the clashes with police and follow up attacks have grown, which has fueled fears that there will be a third Intifada (uprising) by the Palestinians.

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