Israeli police on Monday shot and wounded an eastern Jerusalem resident while attempting to place him under arrest for vandalizing vehicles in the city’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood.
According to police, when officers arrived on the scene, the suspect was wearing a coat and holding an unidentified object in his hand. As the officers confronted the suspect, a blast was heard, which according to a police spokesperson is believed to have been caused by a vehicle the suspect had set on fire. The suspect allegedly damaged at least 10 vehicles.
During the arrest procedure, the suspect refused to remove his coat and started muttering the Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), at which point an officer fired a single shot, neutralizing him, police said. He was evacuated to hospital for treatment.
The motive for the vandalism was determined to be nationalistic, and an investigation was opened into the incident.
Police shared pictures and video from the scene showing parked vehicles with smashed windows, side-view mirrors ripped off and other signs of vandalism.
Tensions have been high in Israel’s capital city during Ramadan, with rioting on the Temple Mount and terrorist groups threatening escalation. The month-long Islamic holiday ends on Friday with Eid al-Fitr.
Police announced on Monday that eight terrorist attacks had been thwarted so far during Ramadan, which overlapped this year with Passover and Easter.
Last week, police announced that they had foiled a stabbing in the city.
“You work around the clock and take care of the security of the Jerusalem district and I thank you for that,” Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said on Sunday night during a visit to police headquarters.
“During Passover, the police of the Jerusalem district acted to maintain the safety of the residents of the city of Jerusalem, worshippers and the many visitors who visited the city,” the Israel Police said in a statement.
In January, seven people were killed and several others were injured in a terrorist attack at a synagogue in the Neve Ya’akov neighborhood.