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Page last updated at 09:17 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 10:17 UK

Jerusalem attacker 'acted alone'

Hussam Dwayat drives bulldozer south along Jaffa Street
The attack took place in sight of the offices of international media outlets

A Palestinian who went on a bulldozing rampage in west Jerusalem on Wednesday apparently acted alone, Israeli police say, despite claims by militant groups.

Hussam Dwayat was at work on a building site when he drove his front-loader vehicle into the street and started mowing down cars and ramming buses.

He killed three people and wounded dozens more before security personnel climbed on the vehicle and killed him.

The shooting was filmed by BBC staff whose office overlooked the scene.

Three Palestinian militant groups claimed responsibility for the attack - which would be the first by their supporters in Jerusalem since a shooting in March at a religious school.

Israeli border policeman outside Dwayat family home
Dwayat's family have been questioned about any links with militant groups

However, correspondents said Dwayat's home in east Jerusalem showed no sign of the crowds and banners that normally accompany the funerals of Palestinian militants.

Police said he had a criminal background and had no known ties to militant groups but officers were still checking whether he had "received instructions" from others.

Israeli military vehicles went to the house in Sur Bahir on Wednesday and investigators interviewed relatives, taking pictures and gathering evidence.

Baby thrown clear

Palestinian civil rights activist Hassib Nashashibi said Dwayat had received a heavy fine and demolition order from the Israeli authorities for carrying out illegal building work, which may have provided a motivation.

Other reports say the the father-of-two - a devout Muslim married to a Palestinian woman - may have been seeking revenge for experiences in the past including a failed love affair with a Jewish Israeli woman and a spell in prison.

"Everyone is in shock," said a family friend.

Medics said he killed two women and a man and injured more than 45 people as he drove about 200m along the busy Jaffa Road, one of west Jerusalem's main thoroughfares.

The baby of one of the dead women survived and was found under the seat of an overturned bus.

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Bulldozer rampage in Jerusalem

Another woman threw her baby out of her car window when she saw the 20-tonne construction vehicle bearing down on her. She was injured but her baby was unharmed.

The attack has prompted calls from hardline Israelis to take steps against Palestinians in Jerusalem- including cracking down on Arab areas and refusing to employ them as labourers, as well as expelling attackers' families and demolishing their homes.

Correspondents say it has put extra strain on the uneasy coexistence between the city's Jews and their Arab neighbours, many of whom work in the construction industry.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the attack, but the Hamas group, which controls the Gaza Strip said it was a "natural reaction to the aggression and crimes" of the Israeli occupation.

"Those who refuse to condemn this act of terror are exposing themselves for what they really are - namely the enemies of fundamental human values," said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.

Enlarged map of Jerusalem
1. Palestinian man driving a bulldozer begins his rampage down Jaffa Road in West Jerusalem, hitting several vehicles.
2. Travelling towards the Mahane Yehuda market, he rams a passenger bus several times before it overturns.
3. The bulldozer is eventually brought to a halt after the driver is shot following a struggle in the cab. At least three people are killed and dozens injured, some of them seriously.






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