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4 Israeli Soldiers Killed, 15 Injured in Jerusalem Attack


Israeli rescue forces work at the scene of a truck ramming incident in Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2017.
Israeli rescue forces work at the scene of a truck ramming incident in Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2017.

Israeli police say a truck driven by a Palestinian slammed into a group of Israeli soldiers Sunday in a deliberate attack, killing four of them and injuring another 15, one seriously.

"It's a terrorist attack, a ramming attack," a police spokesman said on Israel Radio.

Authorities said the soldiers were getting off a bus at the scenic Armon Hanatziv promenade overlooking the walled Old City of Jerusalem when the truck veered off course and without warning smashed into the group.

Authorities said they shot the attacker to death. Palestinian authorities identified him as a resident of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber, close to where the attack occurred.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there are indications the attacker was a supporter of Islamic State.

Israeli PM Blames Islamic State for Jerusalem Attack
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The U.S. State Department condemned the attack in "the strongest possible terms."

"There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks," the top U.S. diplomatic agency said. "Weā€ˇcondemn the glorification of terrorism now or at any time and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated."

The four Israeli soldiers killed - all in their 20s - included three women and a man.

Sunday's incident ranks as one of the single deadliest in a wave of violence since September 2015, in which Palestinian attackers have killed 40 Israelis and several foreign nationals in a string of vehicle-ramming, knifing and gun assaults. Israel, in turn, has killed 247 Palestinians.

Israel says the violence is driven by a Palestinian attempt at incitement, while Palestinians say it is the result of 50 years of Israeli occupation of one-time Palestinian lands and dwindling hopes for an independent Palestinian state.