JERUSALEM -- A Palestinian rammed his car into a group of Israeli pedestrians near a border police station in east Jerusalem yesterday, injuring four officers and a bystander, police said.

He then lunged at security guards with a knife before being shot and wounded. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri described the incident as a "terror attack." Police identified the attacker as Mohammed Salaymeh, 22, from east Jerusalem. A woman that Israeli TV identified as Salaymeh's mother justified the attack, saying it was "natural" that a young person would carry out such an attack because of tensions in Jerusalem.

The attack took place at the same intersection where a Palestinian man rammed his car into a crowded train platform in November and then attacked people with an iron bar, killing one and injuring 13.

Israel's paramilitary border police patrols the area between predominantly Jewish west Jerusalem and the predominantly Arab east Jerusalem.

Police immediately cordoned off the area of the attack, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish onlookers gathered at the scene. The front of the car was smashed and the windshield was cracked. Israeli television showed footage of the wounded attacker lying on the ground before being taken to hospital.

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The attack came during the Jewish holiday of Purim. Police stepped up security throughout the city.

Yesterday's attack mirrored a spate of similar assaults on Israelis involving cars late last year, in the same part of Jerusalem. In late October, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem who had served prison time for militant activities slammed his car into a train platform, killing a baby girl and a young woman from Ecuador. The attack on the train platform in which the assailant wielded an iron bar came two weeks later.

Two weeks after that, two Palestinian cousins attacked a Jerusalem synagogue with meat cleavers, knives and a handgun, killing five people in the deadliest assault in the holy city since 2008.

In all of those attacks, police shot the attackers dead.

Last week, the mayor of Jerusalem and his bodyguard leaped from his car and apprehended an 18-year-old Palestinian after he stabbed an Israeli near City Hall, according to a statement from the mayor.