Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty Images

Jerusalem hit-and-run attack kills infant, injures 8 other people

Israel authorities shoot dead driver, allege ‘terrorist attack’ after car rams pedestrians at Jerusalem tram stop

A 3-month-old baby was killed and eight other people injured Wednesday when a car slammed into pedestrians at a Jerusalem light railway stop, in what Israeli authorities described as a "terrorist attack.”

Police shot the 21-year-old driver as he tried to flee the scene on foot, and he was in serious condition in a hospital, Reuters news agency quoted police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld as saying. The driver was a resident of Arab East Jerusalem, Rosenfeld added.

"We can confirm that this was a terrorist attack. The driver is a resident of Silwan and has a terrorist background. He has served time in jail for terror activity," Rosenfeld said.

Footage of the incident showed the car veer to the right from the traffic lane and hurtle into the light railway platform, hitting pedestrians before coming to a halt.

Two of the injured pedestrians were in serious condition, police said.

The incident took place along a main route leading into the center of Jerusalem, close to the national police headquarters and one of the city's main hospitals at Mount Scopus.

Repeated damage caused by Palestinians to the Jerusalem light railway, which links Arab and Jewish neighborhoods and was once hailed by Israeli authorities as a symbol of coexistence, has put a third of its carriages out of commission.

The vandalizing has underscored deepening divisions in the Israeli-occupied part of the city that Israel claims as its "indivisible capital."

Tensions have been high in Jerusalem since the 50-day Gaza war that ended in August, and the killing of a Palestinian teen in the city by alleged Israeli assailants to avenge the deaths of three abducted Israeli youths in the occupied West Bank.

The last deadly incidents in Jerusalem took place in August, when a Palestinian killed an Israeli and overturned a bus with a construction vehicle and a gunman wounded a soldier in attacks that appeared to be a backlash against Israel's assault on Gaza.

Israel captured East Jerusalem along with Gaza and the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War. It annexed the city shortly afterward and passed a law in 1980 that declared all of Jerusalem its capital — a move not recognized internationally. 

Also Wednesday, Palestinian news agency Maan reported that a 4-year-old Palestinian child in Gaza was killed after touching a piece of unexploded ordnance from the summer's Israeli assault. The offensive killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis, 66 of whom were soldiers.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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