At least seven people were killed while ten others were injured when a shooter opened fire at a synagogue site in Neve Yaakov area of Jerusalem on Friday, police said. They further said that the incident took place in the northern part of East Jerusalem. The wounded were rushed to the Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital.
“The terrorist arrived by car at a building used as a synagogue in the neighbourhood in the northern part of East Jerusalem and opened fire,” police said. Police located and shot the gunman. A handgun apparently used in the attack was seized, they said. The Magen David Adom (MDA) rescue services said its medics declared five victims dead at the scene. A woman in her 70s was listed in critical condition, a 20-year-old man in serious condition, and a 14-year-old boy in moderate-serious condition, MDA staff said.
Defense Minister Yoav Galant was to soon hold a special situation assessment meeting with the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, the head of Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet, and other security officials, his office said. The attack came a day after Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians during a raid in the West Bank town of Jenin, nine of them in the army operation, in what was the bloodiest day in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled area in many years.
The IDF said its forces came under fire during a “counterterrorism operation to apprehend an Islamic Jihad terror squad” and shot several enemy combatants. It claimed that the incursion targeted Islamic Jihad people who were allegedly behind attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Meanwhile, Galant alleged that the targeted people were planning “to conduct a terror attack in Israel”. Islamic Jihad had vowed to take revenge “very soon” with its spokesperson Tariq Salmi saying that “the resistance is everywhere and ready and willing for the next confrontation”. Saleh al-Arouri, deputy leader of Palestinian group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, vowed that Israel “will pay the price for the Jenin massacre”.
The Palestinian Authority suspended its ongoing coordination with Israeli security forces in response. Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory shortly after midnight which were intercepted by Israel’s air defence system, an army spokesperson said. Israel carried out air strikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s weapons facilities, the army said.
(With inputs from PTI)