Gunman kills at least 7 people in attack in occupied East Jerusalem | News about the conflict between Israel and Palestine
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The shooting followed a deadly Israeli attack in the occupied West Bank on Thursday in the Jenin refugee camp that killed nine Palestinians.
A gunman opened fire and killed at least seven people at a synagogue in occupied East Jerusalem before being shot dead, raising fears of a new round of deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
After Friday’s shooting, Magen David Adom Emergency Services said it was treating 10 wounded, some of them in critical condition.
“What we understand happened is a car stopped outside the synagogue, a gunman got out and opened fire,” Al Jazeera’s James Bays reported from the scene. “The numbers we have now are seven dead, including a 15-year-old boy.”
Police said the suspect had no prior “security record,” Bays said.
No liability was initially claimed. The emergency agency reported a total of 10 gunshot victims, including a 70-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy.
Israeli police said the attack took place in Neve Yaakov, a Jewish neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. Television footage showed several victims lying on the road outside the synagogue being attended to by emergency workers.
“I heard a lot of bullets,” Matanel Almalem, an 18-year-old student who lives near the synagogue, told AFP.
A police statement said there had been a “terrorist attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem… The shooting terrorist has been neutralized [killed]”.
The attack followed a deadly Israeli attack in the occupied West Bank on Thursday in the Jenin refugee camp. Nine Palestinians were killedincluding an elderly woman, after dozens of Israeli soldiers raided a house containing suspected militants, leading to several hours of intense fighting.
Gaza militants then fired rockets and Israel carried out airstrikes overnight, but exchanges were limited.
In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem told the Reuters news agency that Friday’s attack was “a response to the crime committed by the occupation in Jenin and a natural response to the criminal actions of the occupation.” He stopped short of declaring the shooting.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad also praised but did not claim responsibility for the attack.
Israeli military strikes have have become common over the past year with at least 200 Palestinians – fighters and civilians – killed.
Israeli civilians and soldiers have also been killed in attacks by Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories.
Friday’s shooting came amid heightened tensions. Palestinians marched angrily as they buried the last Palestinians killed by Israeli troops a day earlier.
Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters erupted after the funeral of a 22-year-old Palestinian north of Jerusalem and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank.
Crowds of Palestinians waved the flags of both Fatah, the party that controls the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, which rules Gaza. In the streets of the town called al-Ram, masked Palestinians threw stones and set off fireworks at Israeli police, who responded with tear gas.
Deadliest since 2008
Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attended the scene shortly after Friday’s attack. “We have to react, the situation cannot continue like this,” he said.
There was no immediate response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel’s opposition leader, former prime minister Yair Lapid, called it “horrifying and heartbreaking.”
Israel’s foreign ministry said the shooting was the deadliest against Israelis since a 2008 attack that killed eight people at a Jewish seminary. Given the location and timing, this threatened to provoke a strong response from Israel.
Defense Minister Yoav Galant has scheduled a meeting with his army chief and other senior security officials.
Months of violence in the occupied West Bank have fueled fears that the already unpredictable conflict could spiral out of control, sparking a wider confrontation between Palestine and Israel.
Israel and Hamas have fought four wars and several smaller clashes since the group seized power in Gaza in 2007. Tensions have risen since Israel stepped up attacks in the West Bank last spring.
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