JERUSALEM — A Palestinian with apparent links to the Islamist militant group Hamas rammed a minivan into a Jerusalem train platform Wednesday and then assaulted people with a tire iron, killing one person before being shot dead by police, authorities said.
The attack came two weeks after another Palestinian, Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi, plowed his car into a crowd of disembarking passengers at a different light-rail stop, killing an infant and an adult.
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for the latest attack on the light-rail system, which was initially hailed as a way to bond Jerusalem’s Arab and Jewish communities but instead has become a symbol of the city’s fissures.
The incidents, which Israeli authorities are treating as terrorist attacks, come as tensions in the city spike on several fronts. The light rail, which runs from the mostly Jewish areas in the city’s west through mainly Arab areas in the east, is a lightning rod for Palestinian anger. Its cars are pelted with rocks and firebombs almost daily.
Earlier Wednesday, Palestinians and Israeli police clashed near another flash point in the city: the al-Aqsa mosque compound, which sits atop the esplanade that Jews call the Temple Mount and that Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary. The site is holy for both Muslims and Jews.
It was the second time in less than a week that the area has been drawn into the city’s unrest. Israeli authorities last week took the rare step of closing the al-Aqsa compound for a day after a Palestinian gunman wounded an Israeli American activist who is leading a campaign to allow greater access to the esplanade for Jewish worshipers. Jews and Christians are allowed to visit the site as tourists, but they are banned from praying, singing and making religious displays there.
Jordan, which oversees the al-Aqsa compound under a special arrangement, said Wednesday that it was recalling its ambassador to Israel and would submit a complaint at the U.N. Security Council over continuing unrest at the site.
After the attack on the light rail, local news media named the suspect as Ibrahim al-Akri, a resident of East Jerusalem. Israel Radio said his brother was among the Palestinian prisoners released and deported three years ago in a deal with Hamas to free captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called Akri “one of Jerusalem’s heroes, targeting Zionist soldiers, security officers and extremists.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried the attack, which killed a policeman, Jadan Assad, from a Druze village in Israel’s north. Netanyahu blamed “incitement” by Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose administration controls the West Bank.
Israel’s minister of internal security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said he would ask Netanyahu to reinstate a policy of destroying the family homes of those who carry out such attacks. This policy was common during the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, more than a decade ago.
Authorities said late Wednesday that a second driving attack took place in the West Bank. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said three Israeli soldiers were injured, and the driver fled the scene.
Carol Morello in Paris contributed to this report.