Infant and young woman killed in Jerusalem terror attack

( A three-month-old infant and an Ecuadorian woman in the process of converting to Judaism have died, following a vehicular terror attack on the Ammunition Hill light rail station in Jerusalem Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Chaya Zissel Braun

Chaya Zissel Braun

Chaya Zissel Braun, a U.S. citizen, died in the hospital after her stroller was hit in the attack. Chaya and her parents were on their way back from the infant’s first visit to the Western Wall.

The parents had just gotten off the light rail. The attacker waited for people to gather at the station and then accelerated, driving directly into the crowd.

“The car hit the baby’s stroller,” said Chaya’s grandfather, Shimshon Halperin. “The baby flew 10 or 20 meters (30-60 feet) in the air and hit her head on the concrete. The doctors at the hospital did the best they could. I want to thank them.”

Chaya’s parents had “waited for a baby for several years,” said Halperin. “The parents are in shock. They are traumatized. The baby was born after a long period of time that they did not have children, and they were overjoyed at her arrival.”

Karen Mosquera

Karen Mosquera

Karen Mosquera, 22, who came to Israel from Ecuador to undergo conversion to Judaism, died on Sunday, Oct. 26 of wounds suffered in the attack.

Her mother, Rosa Cecilia, said that her daughter’s dream was to “travel to Israel and build her life there, but her life has been cut short.”

Speaking at Hadassah Medical Center, where Mosquera died, her mother added: “People always say things against Israel in the news, but when you come here you see the truth.”

The attacker, 21-year-old eastern Jerusalem resident Abdel al-Rahman Shaludi, was shot by a police officer and later died of his wounds in hospital. Shaludi was a Hamas activist who had been imprisoned in Israel for 16 months for security offenses. Released from prison in December 2013, Shaludi was the nephew of Mohiyedine Sharif, a one-time commander of Hamas’s armed wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam brigades.

In reporting the attack, the Associated Press (AP) issued a report headlined “East Jerusalem Man Killed by Israeli Police.” When that evoked widespread social outrage, the news agency revised the headline to read, “Car Slams into East Jerusalem Train Station.”  When that too was met with strong criticism, AP changed it to read, “Palestinian Kills Baby at Jerusalem Station.”  The initial headline was in use for nearly an hour, long after the nature of the incident had long become known.

“This was an editorial decision not necessarily made by the reporter on the ground,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner in an interview.  “Is AP suggesting that the Israeli police routinely shoot people at the site of traffic accidents? Why wasn’t there even a suggestion that the shooting was related to a terrorist attack? This not only shows poor judgment, but also potentially bias.”

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