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The 2014 Jerusalem tractor attack was a terrorist ramming attack that occurred on 4 August 2014, when a man drove an excavator type of tractor out of a construction site, injuring several pedestrians and killing one man before ramming the tractor into a public bus, overturning the bus and then hitting it repeatedly. The terrorist was shot dead at the scene by a police officer while still seated at the wheel of the tractor and continuing to attack the bus by swinging the arm of the excavator against it.

2014 Jerusalem tractor attack
LocationJerusalem, Israel
Date4 August 2014
Attack type
Vehicular attack
Deaths2 (including the attacker)
Non-fatal injuries
PerpetratorsMuhammed Naif El-Ja'abis

The Jerusalem Post described it as part of a series of terrorist vehicular attacks in recent years.[1]


Attack and casualties

The attacker drove an excavator tractor out of a work site into a Shmuel HaNavi Street, a major street in central Jerusalem near the Olive Tree Hotel. He knocked down several pedestrians before ramming the public bus, which was empty except for the driver. One of the pedestrians, 30-year-old Avraham Waltz, was run over by the tractor and killed, while seven others were injured. After overturning the bus, the driver continued attacking by swinging the tractor's mechanical digging arm into the bus. Two police officers at the scene fired at and killed the attacker.[2][3][4][5][6]

The attack echoed earlier terrorist vehicle ramming attacks in which vehicles were commandeered and used as weapons to run over pedestrians and attack other vehicles.[7][8][9]

Police complaint over fake Haaretz article

Several days after the attack, the newspaper Haaretz filed a complaint with the police. While the headline about this attack published by Haaretz read "Soldier wounded in Jerusalem shooting, hours after digger attack kills one",[10] a fake article pretending to be from Haaretz circulated on social media under a headline that read, "Bulldozer and bus in Jerusalem road accident". The fake article continued:

Mohammed Naif, 23, of Jabel Mukaber, lost control of the excavator, struck a pedestrian and collided with a bus. Police at the scene fired at the excavator, murdering Mohammed in cold blood. Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino supported the police officers' act, saying that they had acted according to the laws of apartheid that are the custom in Israel. A young Haredi man was killed when the construction vehicle struck him. Naif's family sent condolences to the family of the young man. Mohammed's mother told our reporter that recently Mohammed had suffered from fatigue due to overwork, and was saving money to fly to the Caribbean for a vacation, which had always been a dream of his.

The Haaretz police complaint alleged that, "The purpose of the article and those who circulated it was to mislead the public into thinking that this was the article Haaretz had published about the terror attack this week in which an Israeli man was killed in Jerusalem, in an effort to incite against the Haaretz newspaper and its owners, editors and writers". Authorities are investigating.[11][12]


The police identified the assailant as Muhammed Naif El-Ja'abis, 23. The perpetrator came from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber. He was employed as an excavator operator at the scene of the attack.[2][13] The police said that the attack was an act of terrorism.[3][14][15] El-Ja'abis was already known to security officials before the attack.[7][16]


Video of the attack taken by a bystander[17] was shown on international news media.[4][18][19][20]

The attack took place following a month that had seen over 360 attacks on Jews, a spate that was thought by the Jerusalem Post to have "peaked" on 4 August 2014 with this attack and the shooting of a uniformed soldier in the French Hill neighborhood, leading to an increase in security in the city.[21][22] It contributed to increasing tensions in the city.[23] Israeli news channel Arutz Sheva framed the attack as part of a wave of violence incited by the Palestinian leadership, including an alleged declaration by senior Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub that the PA had made a "political decision" to support "slaughtering" Jews living in East Jerusalem.[24][25]

The Israeli daily Israel HaYom headlined coverage on the day following the attack, "the scenario the police and Shin Bet feared came true yesterday", referencing public fear of the ease with which vehicles can be turned into instruments of sudden terror attacks by ramming.[2] The incident has been discussed in articles about the stress of living in Israel under constant threat of attack.[26][27][28] As a violent incident mentioned in year-in-review articles.[29][30] And as part of a wave of violence being called a Silent Intifada by some Israeli politicians and news media.[31] A spate of attacks said to have "increased after the Jerusalem bulldozer attack in early August, in which a tractor driven by an Arab overturned a public bus, killing a father of five who was walking down the street at the time".[32]

See also


  1. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (29 August 2014). "Background: Ramming terror attacks in recent years". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Zion, Ilan Ben (August 5, 2014). "The Tipping Point". Times of Israel. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Jonathan Lis and Ido Efrati (August 4, 2014). "Terrorist rams Jerusalem bus, killing one Assailant, who was shot dead by police, was driving a digger; five people were wounded". Haaretz.
  4. ^ a b Greyson, Wayne (August 8, 2014). "Excavator used to kill pedestrian, flip bus in terrorist rampage in Jerusalem (VIDEO)". Better Roads. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  5. ^ LocalEditor (August 6, 2014). "One Zionist Killed, 5 Hurt As Palestinian Excavator Rams Occupied Jerusalem Bus". Al Manar, Hezbollah. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Lewis, Ori (22 October 2014). "Palestinian driver rams Jerusalem station killing baby". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b Stuart Winer (August 4, 2014). "Pedestrian killed in excavator terror attack in Jerusalem; Palestinian driver shot to death by police; 6 victims lightly wounded". Times of Israel.
  8. ^ "Excavator driver attacks Jerusalem bus, authorities say". Associated Press. August 4, 2014.
  9. ^ Staff (August 29, 2011). "Background: Ramming terror attacks in recent years". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  10. ^ Lis, Jonathan (August 4, 2014). "Soldier wounded in Jerusalem shooting, hours after digger attack kills one". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  11. ^ Haaretz (August 8, 2014). "Haaretz files police complaint about fake article circulated online Fake article and headline incorrectly described Jerusalem construction-excavator attack, in which one Israeli civilian was killed, as a road accident". Haaretz.
  12. ^ WN (August 8, 2008). "Haaretz files police complaint about fake article circulated online". Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  13. ^ [1] One Israeli killed, 5 hurt as excavator rams Jerusalem bus, August 5, 2014, AFP.
  14. ^ [2] Archived 2014-08-08 at the Wayback Machine Man crushed to death in Jerusalem tractor attack, August 4, 2014, i24 News.
  15. ^ [3] Archived 2014-08-08 at the Wayback Machine 1 Israeli killed in al-Quds bus attack, Press TV, August 4, 2014.
  16. ^ "Jerusalem rocked by suspected Palestinian attacks". Daily Star. August 4, 2014.
  17. ^ JTA (August 4, 2014). "Deadly tractor incident in Jerusalem called terror attack". JTA. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  18. ^ "Raw: Excavator Used in Jerusalem Bus Attack". USA Today. August 4, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  19. ^ AP (August 4, 2014). "Excavator Used in Jerusalem Bus Attack". AP. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  20. ^ Malay Mail (August 5, 2014). "Palestinian plunges excavator into bus, killing one". The Malay Mail. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  21. ^ PolicePrepared (August 11, 2014). "Police Prepared for Increased Attacks in East Jerusalem". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  22. ^ Chandler, Adam (August 4, 2014). "Jerusalem on High Alert After Dual Terrorist Attacks". The Wire. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  23. ^ Schwartzstein, Peter (August 14, 2014). "The Gaza War Has Left Jerusalem More Divided Than Ever". Daily Beast.
  24. ^ Yashar, Ari (August 22, 2014). "Shots Fired at North Jerusalem Home". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  25. ^ Baruch, Uzi (September 6, 2014). "Gunfire on Northern Jerusalem Neighborhood". Arutz Sheva.
  26. ^ Land, Richard D (August 21, 2014). "Israel Under Siege: An Evangelical Diary (Day 3)". Christian Post. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  27. ^ mayerfeld, Susie (August 8, 2014). "Recent Posts on Bloggish ... What is Really Happening in the Middle East Now? – Part VI: Murderous Thugs". Jewish Journal. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  28. ^ Dann, Moshe (August 14, 2014). "David Grossman – the pain and the pity". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  29. ^ JTA (5 October 2014). "5774 Year in Review". New Jersey Jewish Standard. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  30. ^ TOI (25 September 2014). "Tragedy, triumph and tears in foremost Jewish events of 5774". Times of Israel. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  31. ^ Eisenbud, Daniel (5 October 2014). "Minister of Public Security blasts Barkat for blaming ministry for 'silent intifada'". Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  32. ^ LeviY, Yaakov (9 September 2014). "Shabak Report: Terror Attacks in Jerusalem Jump Exponentially". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 8 October 2014.

Coordinates: 31°47′23″N 35°13′31″E / 31.7897°N 35.2254°E / 31.7897; 35.2254