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Israel beefs up Jerusalem patrols
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 09 - 2008

Israeli police on Tuesday beefed up patrols around Jerusalem after a Palestinian resident plowed his car into a crowd of soldiers at a busy intersection, wounding 19 people before his car crashed into a wall and an army officer shot him dead.
Monday night's attack was the third time in as many months that a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem used a vehicle as a weapon against Israelis. Police identified the assailant as 19-year-old Kassem Mughrabi.
His family claimed the incident was a car accident, and no militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. But police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said authorities were convinced it was politically motivated. “We're 100 percent sure ... he deliberately drove into people,” Rosenfeld said.
Most of the wounded were injured lightly, though several were in moderate condition, Rosenfeld said. Police, including undercover agents, were out on Jerusalem's streets in larger numbers, on the lookout for suspicious activity and conducting spot checks of Palestinian pedestrians and vehicles, he said. Officers were also patrolling Arab neighborhoods of the city, including Jabel Mukaber, where Mughrabi lived.
The vehicular attacks of recent months clearly have posed police with a new challenge: The assailants have had no trouble obtaining their weapons, have apparently acted alone and possibly spontaneously, and authorities have had no warning.
In a pair of attacks in July, Palestinians rammed front-end loaders into crowds of Israelis on busy streets, killing a total of three people and wounding dozens of others. Police and soldiers killed the assailants.

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