The terrorist accelerated as he hit the group, then put the vehicle in reverse and ran over them a second time. The driver was killed after a number of soldiers opened fire on the vehicle.
The four Israelis killed, three women and one man, were named as Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel (20) of Givatayim, Cadet Shir Hajaj (22) of Maaleh Adumim, Cadet Shira Tzur (20) from Haifa, and Cadet Erez Orbach (20) from Alon Shvut.
At least two Israelis were seriously injured, with one in a life-threatening condition.
The driver was identified as 28-year-old Fadi al-Qanbar, a resident of Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighbourhood.
Hamas praised the terror attack as “heroic”, and reportedly held a rally in Gaza celebrating the attack. There have also been reports that Palestinians handed out sweets celebrating the attack in the West Bank and Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “all signs point to the attacker being an Islamic State supporter”. He continued: “We know that we have here a series of attacks, and there could be a link between them, from France to Berlin, and now Jerusalem”.
Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood MP described the attack as “horrific”, underlining that there “can be absolutely no justification for terrorism”.
The attack comes days after a 20-year-old IDF soldier, Sergeant Elor Azaria, who was filmed shooting a wounded Palestinian terrorist after he had been disarmed, was found guilty of manslaughter by an Israeli military court following a high-profile trial that deeply divided the country.
Since September 2015, there have been over 345 terror attacks against Israelis, resulting in the deaths of 42 Israelis and four foreign nationals and over 648 injuries. At least 240 Palestinians have been killed, the overwhelming majority while committing terror attacks.
Recent terrorists have been praised as “Martyrs” and “heroes” by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah officials, and have been glorified on social media and honoured by the PA, with roads, statues and sports competitions named after them.