The attack happened on a popular promenade in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem.
A witness told local media that the truck ploughed into a crowd of people, before reversing back over them. The driver was shot dead at the scene.
“Just over half an hour ago a suspect was driving his truck into an area where there were a number of buses and people that were leaving the buses,” Micky Rosenfeld, police spokesman told reporters. “Special patrol units and police arrived at the scene and are still working at the scene, both forensics as well as special patrol units and a heightened security is continuing in Jerusalem after this morning’s terrorist attack,” he added.
The three victims, three women and one man, were all in their twenties.
Israeli police are treating it as a deliberate attack. National police chief Roni Alsheich told reporters he could not rule out that the suspect was motivated by the Berlin Christmas Market truck attack, which killed 12 people last month.“It is difficult to get into the head of every individual to determine what prompted him, but there is no doubt that these things do have an effect,” Alsheich told reporters.
The police identified the driver was a Palestinian from Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, but a gag order prevented them from releasing further information with an investigation underway.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the suspect was likely a supporter of the so-called Islamic State group.
“We know the identity of the attacker, according to all the signs he is a supporter of Islamic State. We have sealed off Jabel Mukabar, the neighbourhood from where he came, and we are carrying out other actions which I will not detail,” he said in a statement.
Wave of violence
The attack is one of the deadliest in a wave of stabbings, shootings and vehicle ramming assaults against Israelis in the past year.
These type of attacks have killed at least 37 Israelis and two visiting Americans over the past 15 months. Some 231 Palestinians have been killed in Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza strip during the same period. Israel says at least 157 of those killed were assailants. The remainder were killed in clashes and protests. (Euronews)