second time in a month, a terrorist in a bulldozer attacked Jerusalem, injuring more than a dozen before getting shot and killed. The driver left a construction site and attacked a number of vehicles, stopped only by a hail of bullets from border guards. The repeat of last month’s attack suggests either a copycat or a new, and somewhat ineffective, strategy:
The attack occurred while Israeli President Shimon Peres hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his official residence less than a kilometer (half-mile) away.
Israeli officials said the driver was a Palestinian from a village in an area of the occupied West Bank that Israel considers part of Jerusalem. Its residents have freedom of movement throughout the city and Israel.
“The bulldozer driver left a construction site, and hit two cars,” a police spokesman said. “A civilian who saw what was happening, shot him. The bulldozer continued on its way. A border police patrol … continued to shoot and the terrorist was killed.”
The bulldozer also hit a bus. Emergency services said at least 16 people were wounded, one seriously. After the attack, police set up a cordon around the yellow bulldozer and the slumped body of the driver inside.
Bulldozers do have the charm of easy access, but as both attacks proved, they don’t exactly make for effective terrorism. This attack resulted in only one death — the terrorist — and a moderate number of injuries. Israelis can secure construction sites better than they can civilian commerce areas, and heavy equipment will start getting more difficult to commandeer as they react to this mini-wave of rampaging dozers.
One thing seems clear: the Israeli security forces must be doing a pretty good job if this tactic is all the Palestinians can muster.
More interesting is the timing. Barack Obama will visit Israel later today, and maybe the terrorists want to make a statement while the world is watching. However, it makes it more difficult for Obama to speak on behalf of the Palestinians as he has done in the past; he can’t afford to look soft on terrorism while attacks are occurring in Jerusalem. Once again, the Palestinians have proven themselves to be their own worst enemies, and if they planned this, their own worst generals as well.
Update: I had to change the title of this post because the company I named as an ironic joke has no sense of humor.