Border Patrol officer Jaddan Assad was named as the Israeli murdered Wednesday afternoon in a terror attack in Jerusalem, as security forces began placing barriers at Light Rail train stations.
Chief Inspector Assad, a 38-year-old resident of Beit Jann, is survived by a pregnant wife, Dareen, and his three-year-old son, Amir. Two others were seriously wounded in the attack while ten more sustained light-to-moderate injuries.
The families of the deceased and the wounded have been notified. Meanwhile, Jerusalem police has decided to coordinate with the Light Rail's managing firm, CityPass, to place concrete barriers near stations, in order to prevent further attempts at vehicular rampage. The first barriers will be placed on the French Hill by Wednesday evening.
The father of Chief Inspector Assad said shortly after being informed of his son’s death: “I urge leaders to reach an agreement in order to avoid the bloodshed and avoid more casualties from all sectors – Jews, Arabs and Druze.”
He further added: “All my sons serve in the security forces; the Border Police was in his blood and soul. He loved the service and he loved Jerusalem.”
One of the five officers who eliminated the perpetrator described the incident: "the terrorist opened the door, ran out with an iron bar, and began to hit vehicles and civilians. We commenced shooting in order to neutralize him. I haven't a shadow of a doubt that any soldier would have done the same."
He explained that as the officers were driving on the road, they saw the assailant's vehicle hit officers and civilians near the train.
"We realized that it was a terrorist attack and started in pursuit, while he continued to hit vehicles and innocent civilians, until we succeeded in halting him at the nearby intersection. That is how we train our fighters and we acted accordingly. Today we lost an officer and a friend. My condolences to his family, and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded."
Another cousin of Assad, Ihab, said that he had heard about the attack in the afternoon, “but we had no idea it was Jaddan. We received a phone call from another cousin who serves as the Border Police commander of Jerusalem Envelope and he gave us the news. ..Unfortunately, our family has known its share of troubles and we lost four family members only in the past month.”
District Commander Maj. Gen. Moshe Adri expressed his condolences to the family of the murdered officer and wished a speedy recovery to the Border Patrol guards and the civilians injured in the lethal terror attack.
Adri noted that the "fighters responded decisively and with great courage, preventing further attack on civilians. Their reaction deserves extensive praise."
The district commander stressed that Jerusalem Police, with the assistance of Border Patrol forces and national reinforcements, will continue to deploy – on high alert – across the city, with a focus on its eastern section and other flashpoints.
The top local police official directed his commanders to continue to liaison with local leaders in east Jerusalem neighborhoods and called on the general public to show restraint and responsibility.
David Jadidi, one of those wounded in the attack, recalled the incident. "I was on my way back from the shops; I was in my car when another vehicle suddenly slammed into me from behind. At first I thought it was an accident."
Ibrahim al-Akari, the suspected terrorist behind the attack was identified by the police as a Hamas operative from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, and his brother his rumored to be a Palestinian released as part of the prisoner exchange deal that saw Gilad Shalit go free.
In the hours after the attack, riots erupted in Old City flashpoints, with dozens of Palestinians lighting trash on fire and hurling rocks at police and Border Patrol officers.
The attack on Wednesday was the second such incident in two weeks in the holy city, the scene of daily Palestinian protests amid tensions over a sacred compound Muslims revere as Noble Sanctuary and Jews as Temple Mount.
On Oct. 22, three-month-old Haya Ziesl Baron and Ecuadorian Karen Mosquera (22) were killed when a Palestinian man named as Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi plowed his car into a crowd of people waiting at the Ammunition Hill station of Jerusalem's Light Rail.
The driver, a resident of the village of Silwad with a record of security related offenses, attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was shot by police. He sustained chest wounds and succumbed to his wounds late Wednesday evening after being taken to a Jerusalem hospital in serious condition.
Noam (Dabul) Dvir, Omri Efraim, Kobi Nachshoni, Ahiya Raved, and Elior Levy contributed to this report.