A Palestinian gunman killed no less than seven Israelis in a capturing exterior a synagogue on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Friday, as tensions continued to soar within the wake of the deadliest Israeli raid on the occupied West Financial institution in years.
Police mentioned the gunman, whom they recognized as a 21-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, arrived exterior the synagogue in Neve Ya’akov round 8.15pm native time as worshippers celebrated the Sabbath.
He opened fireplace on a number of individuals earlier than fleeing and being killed by law enforcement officials who had been referred to as to the scene. Along with the fatalities, police mentioned three different individuals sustained accidents of various severity.
The capturing, which was the deadliest in Jerusalem since 2008 and passed off on Holocaust Memorial day, got here a day after Israeli commandos killed 9 Palestinians throughout a raid on the Jenin refugee camp within the West Financial institution that focused militants from Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In response, Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza fired rockets at Israel on Thursday night time, prompting Israel to bomb targets within the coastal enclave, which has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt for the reason that Hamas militant group took energy in 2007. No casualties had been reported on both aspect.
The eruption of violence is the primary large conflict since Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline new government, extensively seen as essentially the most rightwing in Israel’s historical past, took workplace in December with ultranationalists in key safety posts pledging to take a harder stance towards the Palestinians.
Netanyahu visited the scene of the capturing on Friday night time. He described the assault as “probably the most extreme now we have identified in years”, and mentioned that the cupboard would meet on Saturday.
“Our hearts are with the households,” he mentioned. “We should act with dedication and composure. I name on individuals to not take the legislation into their very own palms.”
Yair Lapid, the previous prime minister who heads the most important opposition celebration Yesh Atid, mentioned that the assault was “horrific and heartbreaking”.
“We can’t permit terrorism to boost its head and should reply with agency hand towards the terrorists and those that ship them,” he mentioned.
Police mentioned their preliminary evaluation was that the gunman had acted alone. On Saturday, they mentioned that they had detained 42 individuals in reference to the capturing, together with members of the gunman’s household, and that they had been inspecting whether or not they had any reference to or prior information of the assault.
There was no quick declare of duty, though Palestinian militant teams praised the assault. Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman, mentioned that the assault was a “pure response to the occupation’s legal actions”.
Friday’s capturing follows months of near-nightly clashes between Israeli safety forces and Palestinian militants within the West Financial institution, and a 56-hour battle between Israel and militants in Gaza final August, which have exacerbated fears that long-simmering Israeli-Palestinian tensions may spill over into a bigger confrontation.
Final yr was the bloodiest for Palestinians within the West Financial institution since 2005, in response to the UN, with Israeli forces killing 151 within the territory after stepping up their actions there following a spate of assaults by Palestinians that started final spring and killed 31 Israelis in 2022.
In a separate incident on Friday night time, three Palestinians had been hospitalised after being shot close to Nablus within the north of the West Financial institution, in response to Palestinian media. The identification of the shooter was not instantly clear.
The Palestinian Authority mentioned on Thursday night time that it was cancelling safety co-operation with Israel in response to the raid on Jenin, prompting US officers to induce them to reverse the choice.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken is because of journey to Israel and the West Financial institution subsequent week as a part of a pre-planned go to to the area. CIA chief William Burns was additionally visiting on Friday.
A spokesperson for the UN’s secretary-general, António Guterres, mentioned he condemned Friday’s capturing and was “deeply apprehensive” concerning the escalating violence. “That is the second to train utmost restraint,” the spokesperson mentioned.