A shooting took place at a synagogue in Neve Yaakov, East Jerusalem, on Friday during Sabbath prayers, killing seven and injuring multiple, Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom told the press. The gunman was shot dead by the police, according to the BBC. An emergency operation is on at the scene to deal with the injuries.
A total of 10 casualties were reported. Out of them, at least two are seriously wounded while the rest are nursing moderate to minor injuries. Among those dead is a 70-year-old woman, ABC reports.
Local media said that the police ‘neutralized’ the gunman after he tried to flee the scene as the police arrived.
Yaakov Shabtai, the police chief, said that the attack was “one of the worst terror attacks in the past few years”, adding that the gunman “started shooting at anyone that was in his way. He got in his car and started a killing spree with a pistol at short range.”
“As a result of the shooting attack, the death of 7 civilians was determined and 3 others were injured with additional degrees of injury,” he said. The gunman, identified as a 21-year-old male, reportedly fled the scene of the shooting in a vehicle and was later killed in a shootout.
Is it a revenge attack?
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli soldiers murdered nine Palestinians on Thursday in the West Bank city of Jenin and injured several others. This caused the Palestinian Authority to halt security cooperation with Israel.
Then, in what the Israel Police described as a “violent disturbance” close to Jerusalem, a tenth Palestinian was slain on that day.
The fact that the shooting incident happened at a synagogue on Sabbath has given it an angle of revenge attack especially in the wake of recent alleged killings by Israel. Benjamin Netanhyu, the Prime Minister of Israel, urged people to not “take the law into their own hands.”
“For that purpose we have an army, police and security forces. They act and will act according to the cabinet instructions,” he said.
The National Security Minister of Isarel, Itamar Ben Gvir, visited the scene and said that the “burden is on us”. To a group of angry crowd chanting in front him, Ben Gvir said: “I can tell you, you are right. The burden is on us. It cannot continue like this.”
The White House condemned the attack with State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel saying: “This is absolutely horrific. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those killed and injured in this heinous act of violence.”