Jerusalem: Two shot and injured, police say, after synagogue attack kills seven
Two people were injured in a shooting in Jerusalem on Saturday, according to emergency services, the day after a gunman killed at least seven people near a synagogue in the city.
The two men injured Saturday in Jerusalem’s City of David neighborhood, one 22 and the other in his 40s, are father and son, police said. A 13-year-old who police say shot and injured the couple was “incapacitated and injured” by “two bystanders carrying licensed weapons”.
Tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories remain high after Friday’s shooting, which Police Chief Yaakov Shabtai described as “one of the worst terror attacks in years.” The shooter in that attack was also later killed by police forces, according to police.
“As a result of the shooting, 7 civilians were determined dead and 3 others were injured with additional degrees of injury,” police said.
Five of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency relief service said: four men and one woman. Five people were taken to hospitals, where another man and another woman were pronounced dead. Among the injured is a 15-year-old boy, the MDA said.
The attack happened around 8:15 p.m. local time on Friday near a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Street, according to a police statement.
Shabtai said the shooter “started shooting anyone who got in his way. He got in his car and started a killing spree with a close-range gun. He then fled in a vehicle and was killed after a shootout with law enforcement, police said.
Police identified the shooter as a 21-year-old East Jerusalem resident, saying in a statement he appeared to have acted alone. East Jerusalem is a predominantly Palestinian area of the city, which was captured by Israel in 1967.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged people against revenge attacks Friday night. “I call on the people not to take justice into their own hands. For this we have an army, police and security forces. They act and will act according to the instructions of the cabinet,” he said.
Friday’s incident came a day after the deadliest day for Palestinians in the West Bank in more than a year, according to CNN records.
On Thursday, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and injured 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. A tenth Palestinian was killed that day in what Israeli police described as “violent unrest” near Jerusalem.
On Friday morning local time, Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after rockets were fired at Israel.
Israel’s controversial National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the scene of the attack on Friday evening, telling people angrily chanting that “it can’t go on like this”.
“I can tell you, [the people chanting] you are 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 the stage chanted their support for Ben Gvir, saying “You are our voice, we support you”.
Hadas Gold and his CNN team, who were also at the scene of Friday night’s shooting, heard what sounded like celebratory gunfire and car horns coming from the nearby predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina.
The White House on Friday condemned the “heinous terrorist attack” on a Jerusalem synagogue and said the US government had given “full support” to Israel, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. , in a press release.
The US State Department also condemned the “apparent terrorist attack” in Jerusalem “in the strongest terms”.
“It’s absolutely awful,” 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 there were no changes to the schedule for Secretary of State Antony 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 appalled by the reports of Neve Yaakov’s horrific attack tonight. Attacking worshipers in a synagogue on Erev Shabat is a particularly horrific act of terrorism. The UK stands with Israel,” Neil Wigan, the British Ambassador to Israel, wrote on Twitter.
EU Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev also condemned the “senseless violence”, saying in his tweet: “Terror is never the answer”.
And the French embassy in Israel tweeted that the incident was “all the more despicable as it was committed on this day of international remembrance of the Holocaust”.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned Friday’s deadly attack, his spokesman said.
“It is particularly heinous that the attack happened in a place of worship, and on the very day we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he said.
António Guterres also expressed his concern “at the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories”, urging all “to exercise the utmost restraint”.