Palestinian gunman kills 7 close to Jerusalem synagogue


JERUSALEM — A Palestinian gunman opened hearth outdoors an east Jerusalem synagogue Friday evening, killing seven individuals, together with a 70-year-old girl, and wounding three others earlier than he was shot and killed by police, officers stated. It was the deadliest assault on Israelis in years and raised the probability of extra bloodshed.

The assault, which occurred as residents have been observing the Jewish sabbath, got here a day after an Israeli army raid killed 9 individuals within the West Financial institution. The taking pictures set off celebrations in each the occupied West Financial institution and Gaza Strip, the place individuals fired weapons into the air, honked horns and distributed sweets.

The burst of violence, which additionally included a rocket barrage from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, has posed an early problem for Israel’s new authorities, which is dominated by ultranationalists who’ve pushed for a tough line towards Palestinian violence. It additionally solid a cloud over a go to by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the area Sunday.

Addressing reporters at Israel’s nationwide police headquarters, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated he had held a safety evaluation and selected “immediate actions.” He stated he would convene his Safety Cupboard on Saturday evening, after the top of the sabbath, to debate an extra response.

Netanyahu declined to elaborate however stated Israel would act with “determination and composure.” He referred to as on the general public to not take the legislation into their very own fingers.

White Home Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated the U.S. strongly condemned the assault and was “shocked and saddened by the loss of life,” noting it got here on Worldwide Holocaust Remembrance Day.

U.S. officers stated later Friday that President Joe Biden spoke with Netanyahu to supply U.S. assist to the federal government and folks of Israel, calling the shootings “an attack against the civilized world.” “The President stressed the iron-clad U.S. commitment to Israel’s security,” the White Home stated of the decision.

Israeli police stated the shootings occurred in Neve Yaakov, a neighborhood with a big ultra-Orthodox inhabitants, and that the gunman fled in a automobile. Police stated they chased after him and after an change of fireplace, killed him.

Jerusalem police chief Doron Turjeman confirmed seven deaths, along with the shooter, and stated three individuals have been wounded.

Police recognized the attacker as a 21-year-old east Jerusalem resident who apparently acted alone. Turjeman promised an “aggressive and significant” effort to trace down anybody who helped him.

Police additionally launched a photograph of the pistol it stated was utilized by the attacker.

Protection Minister Yoav Gallant huddled with Israel’s army chief and different prime safety officers and instructed them to help police and strengthen defenses close to Jerusalem and for Jewish settlements within the occupied West Financial institution.

“Israel’s defense establishment will operate decisively and forcefully against terror and will reach anyone involved in the attack,” Gallant stated.

Israel’s MADA rescue service stated the useless victims have been 5 males and two ladies, together with a number of who have been 60 or older. Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital stated a 15-year-old boy was recovering from surgical procedure.

The assault was the deadliest on Israelis since a 2008 taking pictures killed eight individuals in a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, in line with the Overseas Ministry. Given the placement and timing, it threatened to set off a tricky response from Israel.

In a single day Thursday, Gaza militants fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel, with all of them both intercepted or touchdown in open areas. Israel responded with airstrikes on targets in Gaza. No casualties have been reported, and calm had gave the impression to be taking maintain earlier than Friday evening’s taking pictures.

There was no quick declare of duty. In Gaza, Hazem Qassem, spokesman for the ruling Hamas militant group, stated the assault was “a revenge and natural response” to the lethal army raid Thursday.

At a number of places throughout the Gaza Strip, dozens of Palestinians gathered in spontaneous demonstrations to have a good time the Jerusalem assault, with some popping out of dessert outlets with giant trays of sweets to distribute.

In downtown Gaza Metropolis, celebratory gunfire might be heard, as automobiles honked and calls of “God is great!” wafted from mosque loudspeakers. In varied West Financial institution cities, Palestinians launched fireworks.

The assault escalated tensions that have been already heightened following Thursday’s raid within the city of Jenin, the place 9 individuals, together with a minimum of seven militants and a 61-year-old girl, have been killed. It was the deadliest single raid within the West Financial institution in 20 years. A tenth Palestinian was killed in separate preventing close to Jerusalem.

Indignant Palestinians marched Friday as they buried the final of these killed a day earlier.

Scuffles between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters erupted after the funeral for a 22-year-old Palestinian north of Jerusalem and elsewhere within the occupied West Financial institution, however calm prevailed within the contested capital and within the blockaded Gaza Strip for many of the day.

That out of the blue dissolved with the east Jerusalem taking pictures, described as “horrific and heartbreaking” by Yair Lapid, the opposition chief and former prime minister.

Neve Yaakov is a spiritual Jewish settlement that Israel considers to be a neighborhood of its capital. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, whereas the Palestinians search east Jerusalem as a capital of their future state.

Blinken’s journey will in all probability now focus closely on reducing tensions. He’s prone to talk about the underlying causes of the battle, the agenda of Israel’s new far-right authorities and the Palestinian Authority’s determination to halt safety coordination with Israel in retaliation for the raid.

The Biden administration has been deeply engaged with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in latest days, White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby stated, underscoring the “urgent need here for all parties to deescalate to prevent the further loss of civilian life and to work together to improve the security situation in the West Bank.”

Israel and Hamas have fought 4 wars and a number of other smaller skirmishes because the militant group seized energy in Gaza from rival forces in 2007.

Tensions have soared since Israel stepped up raids within the West Financial institution final spring, following a sequence of Palestinian assaults.

Practically 150 Palestinians have been killed within the West Financial institution and east Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest 12 months in these territories since 2004, in line with main Israeli rights group B’Tselem. Final 12 months, 30 individuals have been killed in Palestinian assaults towards Israelis.

Thus far this 12 months, 30 Palestinians have been killed, in line with a rely by The Related Press.

Israel says many of the useless have been militants. However youths protesting the incursions and others not concerned within the confrontations even have been killed.

Israel says its raids are supposed to dismantle militant networks and thwart assaults. The Palestinians say they additional entrench Israel’s 55-year, open-ended occupation of the West Financial institution, captured together with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip within the 1967 Mideast warfare.

Related Press author Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed.

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