2008 Jerusalem vehicular attack

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2008 Jerusalem BMW attack
Israel outline jerusalem.png
Red pog.svg
The attack site
Location Jerusalem, Israel
Coordinates 31°46′44″N 35°13′30″E / 31.77889°N 35.22500°E / 31.77889; 35.22500
Date 22 September 2008
Attack type
Vehicle attack
Weapons BMW saloon car
Deaths 1 (the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator Qassem Mughrabi

On 22 September 2008, a Palestinian drove a BMW saloon car into a group of civilians and off-duty soldiers in a terrorist ramming attack in Jerusalem, Israel, injuring 19. According to Stratfor Global Intelligence analysts, this attack represents a new militant tactic which is less lethal but could prove more difficult to prevent than suicide bombings.[1]


The attack was a third in a series of terrorist attacks involving a new tactic, using vehicles as weapons. The Jerusalem Post has termed them "ramming terror attacks."[2] According to Stratfor, the American global intelligence firm, "while not thus far as deadly as suicide bombing", this tactic could prove more difficult to prevent. No single group has claimed responsibility for the incidents.[1]

On 2 July 2008, Husam Tayseer Dwayat, an Arab Israeli citizen from the Sur Baher neighborhood of East Jerusalem drove an earthmover along Jaffa Road in West Jerusalem, slamming into a bus and passing cars. Four people were killed and another 45 were injured.[1]

Later that month, on 22 July 2008, Ghassan Abu Tir, from the Umm Tuba neighborhood of East Jerusalem, drove a front-loader into traffic on King David Street in West Jerusalem, slamming into a bus and passing cars. Sixteen people were injured.[1]

The attack[edit]

On 22 September 2008, the perpetrator, Qassem Mughrabi, a 19-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem's Jabal Mukaber neighborhood, drove a black BMW Saloon into a group of civilians and off-duty soldiers standing on a Jerusalem street.[3] [4][dead link] 19 people were injured.[5]

Mughrabi was shot dead at the scene[6] by off-duty soldier Lt. Elad Amar. Amar told Army Radio that the attacker "drove towards the soldiers at top speed, plowed onto the traffic island, ran over soldiers and civilians and then continued, ramming into a building. At that point I assessed that it was a terror attack and decided to neutralize the driver so that he wouldn't be able to reverse the car and continue the attack."[7]

The perpetrator[edit]

According to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency, Qassem Mughrabi was a member of Hamas.[8] Mughrabi's family denied that the event was a terror attack. Mahmoud Mughrabi, Qassem's father, said his son did not have a driving license and apparently lost control of the car. "My son was murdered, they killed him. He did not carry out a terrorist attack. This was a car accident." However, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said authorities were convinced the attack was politically motivated. "We're 100 percent sure ... he deliberately drove into people," Rosenfeld said.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Israel: Vehicle Attacks - A New Militant Tactic?. Stratfor Global Intelligence
  2. ^ Background: Ramming terror attacks in recent years, by JPOST.COM STAFF, Yaakov Lappin, Etgar Lefkovits, 29/08/2011, Jerusalem Post [1]
  3. ^ Palestinian Car Rams Israelis, By Isabel Kershner, 22 September 2008, New York Times [2]
  4. ^ 22 September 2008, 15 wounded in terror attack at busy Jerusalem intersection, By Etgar Lefkovits, Shelly Paz, Jerusalem Post [3]
  5. ^ Terrorist in car rams 19 in J'lem, By Jonathan Lis
  6. ^ Palestinian drives into crowd, injures 15, police say, CNN
  7. ^ 'He drove towards group at top speed,' The Jerusalem Post, 23 September 2008
  8. ^ 'J'lem terrorist was a Hamas member', by Etgar Lefkovits, The Jerusalem Post 23 September 2008 [4]
  9. ^ "Father of Jerusalem attacker: My son's no terrorist". Haaretz. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 

External links[edit]