At least 7 killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack, Israeli police say


At least seven people were killed and three wounded in a shooting near a Jerusalem synagogue on Friday amid high tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Israeli police said.

Two people were injured in another shooting in the City of David area of ​​Jerusalem on Saturday, according to police and ambulance services. The victims, one in his 20s and the other in his 40s or 50s, were taken to the trauma unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, the hospital said.

“The suspect was subdued after a large number of officers were called to the scene,” police said in a statement. According to a preliminary report issued by the Jerusalem police, the incident is being treated as a suspected terrorist attack.

Friday’s shooter was also later shot dead by officers, according to police, in what police chief Yaakov Shabtai called “one of the worst terrorist attacks in the past few years.”

“As a result of the shooting, seven civilians have been determined to have died and three others were seriously injured,” police said.

Five of the shooting victims were pronounced dead at the scene: four men and a woman, Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency service said. Five people were taken to hospital and another man and a woman were pronounced dead.

The MDA said a 15-year-old boy was among the injured.

According to a police statement, the attack took place around 8:15 p.m. local time near a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Street.

Shabtai said the gunman “started shooting people who were in the way. He got into the car and started killing people at close range with a pistol.” He then fled the scene in a car and was killed after a shootout with police, police said.

Israeli security forces are deployed at the site of a reported attack in a settler neighborhood in Israel-annexed East Jerusalem, January 27, 2023.

Police identified the shooter as a 21-year-old East Jerusalem resident and said in a statement that he appeared to be acting alone. East Jerusalem, the predominantly Palestinian part of the city, was occupied by Israel in 1967.

On Friday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged people not to carry out retaliatory attacks. “I call on people not to take the law into their own hands. For this, we have the army, the police and the security forces. They will follow the instructions of the cabinet,” he said.

The incident came on the heels of the deadliest day for Palestinian deaths in the West Bank in more than a year, as recorded by CNN.

Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and wounded several others in the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, prompting the Palestinian Authority to suspend security coordination with Israel, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. That day, a tenth Palestinian was killed in what Israeli police described as “violent unrest” near Jerusalem.

Overnight, on Friday morning local time, Israel launched an airstrike on the Gaza Strip after firing rockets into Israel.

Israeli security forces search a car at the site of a reported attack in a settler neighborhood in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, January 27, 2023.

Israel’s controversial national security minister, Itamar bin Gvir, visited the site of the attack on Friday night and told the angry chanting crowd “it cannot go on like this”.

“I can tell you, [the people chanting] you are right. The burden is upon us. It cannot continue like this,” said Ben Gewell, who also leads the far-right Jewish Power party.

Someone at the scene chanted solidarity with Ben Gvir, saying, “You are our spokesperson, and we support you.”

CNN’s Hadas Gold and his team were also at the scene of the Friday night shooting when they heard celebratory gunfire and gunfire from the nearby predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Car horns.

White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the White House condemned Friday’s “heinous terrorist attack” on a synagogue in Jerusalem and said the U.S. government had extended its “full support” to Israel.

The US State Department also condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the “clear terrorist attack” in Jerusalem.

“It’s absolutely horrific,” said State Department deputy spokesman Vedante Patel. “Our condolences, prayers and condolences to those killed and injured in this heinous act of violence.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s upcoming trip to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank is not expected to change, Patel said.

Israel's Minister of State Security Itamar Ben-Gvir talks to Israeli troops on January 27, 2023.

The European Union, France and the United Kingdom also condemned the shooting.

“I am appalled by reports of the horrific attack on Neve Yaakov tonight. The attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Erev Shabat is a particularly horrific act of terrorism. Britain stands with Israel,” said Neve Yaakov, the British ambassador to Israel. Wilwegen wrote on Twitter.

Dimiter Tzantchev, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel, also condemned the “senseless violence,” tweeting that “terror is never the solution.”

The French embassy in Israel said on Twitter that the incident “came even more despicable on International Holocaust Remembrance Day”.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned Friday’s deadly attack, his spokesman said.

“It is especially abhorrent that the attack took place at a place of worship and on a day when we are marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he said.

Guterres also expressed concern about the “current escalation of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, urging all to “exercise maximum restraint”.

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