Israeli police say that at least seven people were killed and three were hurt in a shooting near a synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday. This happened as tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories were high.
Police and ambulance services say that two people were shot and hurt in the City of David neighborhood of Jerusalem on Saturday. The Shaare Zedek Medical Center said that the victims, one in his 20s and the other in his 40s or 50s, were taken to the trauma unit.
In a statement the police said, “The shooting suspect was neutralized” after a “large police force was called to the scene.” The incident is being treated as a suspected terror attack, according to a preliminary report issued by Jerusalem police.
Police say that the shooter on Friday was later killed by them. Police chief Yaakov Shabtai called it “one of the worst terror attacks in the past few years.” “Seven civilians were found dead as a result of the shooting attack, and three others were hurt in different ways,” police said.
Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency rescue service said that four men and one woman who were shot were pronounced dead at the scene. Five people were taken to hospitals, where a man and a woman were later found to have died.
The MDA said that among those hurt is a 15-year-old boy. A police statement says that the attack took place around 8:15 p.m. local time near a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Street.
Shabtai said that the shooter “began shooting at anyone who got in his way. He got in his car and started shooting people at close range with a pistol.” The man then got into a car and drove away. Police say he was killed in a shootout with police.
Police said in a statement that the shooter was a 21-year-old man from East Jerusalem who seemed to have acted alone. East Jerusalem is a part of the city that is mostly made up of Palestinians. It was taken over by Israel in 1967.
On Friday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told people not to get even. “I urge the people not to break the law themselves. We have the army, the police, and security forces for this reason. “They do and will do what the cabinet tells them to do,” he said.
According to CNN, this happened one day after the deadliest day for Palestinians in the West Bank in more than a year. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and hurt several others in the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday. This caused the Palestinian Authority to stop working with Israel on security issues.
In what Israel Police called a “violent disturbance” that day near Jerusalem, a tenth Palestinian was killed. After rockets were fired at Israel overnight, Israel attacked the Gaza strip by air on Friday morning local time.
Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel’s controversial National Security Minister, went to the scene of the attack on Friday evening. He told the angry people who were chanting that “this can’t go on” “I can tell you, [the people chanting] you are right. The burden is on us. It cannot continue like this,” Ben Gvir, who also leads the far-right Jewish Power party, said.
Some people at the scene were chanting, “You are our voice, we support you,” to show their support for Ben Gvir. Hadas Gold and his team from CNN were also at the scene of the shooting on Friday night. They heard what sounded like celebratory gunfire and car horns from Beit Hanina, a nearby neighborhood where most of the people are Palestinian.
Friday’s attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem was called a “heinous terror attack” by the White House. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the US government is “fully supporting” Israel.
The US State Department also said, “in the strongest terms,” that what seemed to be a terrorist attack in Jerusalem was wrong. “This is terrible,” said Vedant Patel, a spokesman for the State Department. “Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with those who were hurt or killed in this terrible act of violence.”
Patel said no change to the schedule of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s upcoming trip to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank was expected. The shooting was also condemned by the EU, France, and the UK.
“I am appalled by reports of the terrible attack in Neve Yaakov tonight. Attacking worshippers at a synagogue on Erev Shabat is a particularly horrific act of terrorism. The UK stands with Israel,” The British ambassador in Israel, Neil Wigan, wrote on Twitter that the UK stands with Israel.
Dimiter Tzantchev, the EU’s ambassador to Israel, also called the violence “senseless.” In a tweet, he said, “Terror is never the answer.” And the French embassy in Israel tweeted that the act was even worse because it happened on a day when people around the world remember the Holocaust.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also condemned Friday’s deadly attack, his spokesman said. “It is especially horrible that the attack happened in a place of worship and on the same day that we remembered the Holocaust,” he said.
Guterres also expressed worry “about the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory,” urging all “to exercise utmost restraint.”