The attack at the Jerusalem synagogue left at least seven dead, Israeli police said
Israeli police said at least seven people were killed and three wounded in a shooting near a Jerusalem synagogue on Friday amid high tensions in Israel and Palestinian Territories.
Two people were wounded in separate shootings Saturday in the City of David area of Jerusalem, according to police and ambulance services. The victims, one in his 20s and another in his 40s or 50s, were taken to the trauma unit of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, the hospital said.
A police statement said the “shooting suspect has been neutralized” after “a large police force was called to the scene”. The incident is being treated as a suspected terrorist attack, according to a preliminary report issued by Jerusalem police.
Friday’s shooter was also killed later by police forces, according to police, in what police chief Yakov Shabtai described as “one of the worst terrorist attacks in the last few years.”
“As a result of the firing attack, 7 civilians were found dead and 3 others were injured with additional injuries,” the police said.
Five of the shooting victims were pronounced dead at the scene, Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) rescue service said: four men and one woman. Five people were transported to hospitals, where another man and woman were pronounced dead.
A 15-year-old boy is among the injured, the MDA reported.
The attack took place around 8:15 p.m. local time, near the synagogue on Neve Yakov Street, the police said in a statement.
Shabtai said the gunman “started shooting at anyone who was in his way. He got into his car and went on a killing spree with a gun at close range. He then fled the scene in a vehicle and was killed after a shootout with police forces, police said.
Police identified the gunman as a 21-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, saying in a statement that he appeared to have acted alone. East Jerusalem is a predominantly Palestinian area of the city that was captured by Israel in 1967.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on people to resist Friday night’s revenge attacks. “I urge people not to take the law into their own hands. For this purpose we have army, police and security forces. They act and will act according to the instructions of the cabinet,” he said.
The incident comes a day later the deadliest day for Palestinians in the West Bank for more than a year, according to CNN records.
On Thursday, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and wounded several others in the West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, prompting the Palestinian Authority to suspend security coordination with Israel. One in ten Palestinians were killed that day in what Israeli police called “violent unrest” near Jerusalem.
Overnight, Friday morning local time, Israel carried out airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after rockets were fired at Israel.
Israel’s controversial national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the site of the attack on Friday night, telling people who chanted angrily that it “cannot go on like this”.
“I can tell you [the people chanting] you’re right. The burden is on us. It can’t go on like this,” said Ben Gvir, who also leads the far-right Jewish Power party.
Some people on stage chanted support for Ben Gvir, saying “You are our voice, we support you”.
Hadas Gold and the CNN crew, who were also at the scene of the shooting Friday night, heard what sounded like celebratory gunfire and car horns from the nearby predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina.
The White House condemned the “heinous terrorist attack” at a Jerusalem synagogue on Friday and said the United States government extended its “full support” to Israel, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
The US State Department also condemned the “apparent terrorist attack” in Jerusalem “in the strongest possible terms”.
“This is absolutely appalling,” State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said. “Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those killed and injured in this heinous act of violence.”
Patel said no change is expected in the schedule of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s upcoming trip to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank.
The European Union, France and the United Kingdom also condemned the shooting.
“I am horrified by the reports of the terrible attack in Neve Yakov tonight. The attack on worshipers in a synagogue on Erev Shabbat is a particularly horrific act of terrorism. The UK supports Israel,” Neil Wigan, the British ambassador to Israel, tweeted.
The EU’s ambassador to Israel, Dimitar Tsanchev, also condemned the “senseless violence”, saying in a tweet: “Terror is never the answer”.
And the French embassy in Israel tweeted that the incident was “even more disgusting as it took place on this day of international Holocaust Remembrance”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned Friday’s deadly attack, his spokesman said.
“It is particularly sickening that the attack took place in a place of worship and on the very day we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he said.
Guterres also expressed concern “at the current escalation of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” urging everyone to “exercise maximum restraint.”
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