Two people were injured in a shootout in Jerusalem on Saturday, emergency services said, a day after a gunman killed at least seven people near a synagogue in the city.
The two men who were injured in the City of David in Jerusalem on Saturday, one aged 22 and one in their 40s, are father and son, according to police. A 13-year-old who police say shot and wounded the couple was “neutralized and injured” by “two passers-by with licensed weapons.”
Tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories remain high after Friday’s shooting, which police chief Yaakov Shabtai described as “one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent years”. The shooter in that attack was also later killed by police forces, according to police.
“As a result of the shooting attack, the deaths of 7 civilians were recorded and 3 others were injured with additional degrees of injury,” police said.
Five of the victims of the shooting were pronounced dead at the scene, the Israeli ambulance service Magen David Adom (MDA) said: four men and one woman. Five people were taken to hospitals, where another man and woman were pronounced dead. The MDA said a 15-year-old boy was among the injured.
According to police, the attack happened around 8:15 p.m. local time on Friday near a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Street.
Shabtai said the gunman “started shooting at anyone who got in his way. He then fled the scene in a vehicle and was killed after a shootout with police forces, police said.
Police identified the shooter as a 21-year-old resident of East Jerusalem and said in a statement that he appeared to have acted alone. East Jerusalem is a predominantly Palestinian area of the city that was conquered by Israel in 1967.
Regarding Saturday’s attack, a community leader said the 13-year-old suspected gunman knew a 16-year-old Palestinian who had died from gunshot wounds a day earlier. Jawad Siam, director of the Silwan non-profilt organization in east Jerusalem, told CNN the suspect’s family denied that their 13-year-old son was responsible for Saturday’s attack, which took place near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem Silwan, East Jerusalem.
According to Siam, the 13-year-old suspect was a neighbor of a 16-year-old Palestinian who died of gunshot wounds in hospital on Friday night. The 16-year-old was shot dead by Israeli police on Wednesday.
Of the two wounded on Saturday, the 22-year-old man is now in serious but stable condition, anesthetized and ventilated in intensive care, while his 47-year-old father is in moderate and stable condition.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the population against revenge attacks on Friday evening. “I urge people not to take the law into their own hands. For this we have army, police and security forces. They are acting and will act as instructed by the Cabinet,” he said.
Meanwhile, the European Union on Saturday urged Israel to use deadly force only as a “last resort.”
“The European Union fully recognizes Israel’s legitimate security concerns, as evidenced by the recent terrorist attacks, but it must be stressed that lethal force should only be used as a last resort when absolutely unavoidable to save life.” the EU said top diplomat Josep Borrell in a press release on Saturday.
Borrell also stressed that the bloc was “extremely concerned about the heightened tensions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”
“We urge both parties to do everything in their power to de-escalate the situation and resume security coordination, which is crucial to prevent further acts of violence,” he concluded.
Friday’s incident came a day after the deadliest day for Palestinians in the West Bank in over a year, according to CNN records.
On Thursday, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and injured several others in the West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, prompting the Palestinian Authority to suspend security coordination with Israel. A tenth Palestinian was killed that day in what Israeli police called “violent unrest” near Jerusalem.
Overnight, Friday morning local time, Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after rockets were fired at Israel.
Israel’s controversial Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, visited the site of the attack on Friday night and told people, who chanted furiously, that “it can’t go on like this”.
“I can tell you [the people chanting] You’re right. The burden is on us. It can’t go on like this,” said Ben Gvir, who also heads the far-right Jewish Power party.
Some local people chanted support for Ben Gvir, saying, “You are our voice, we support you.”
CNN’s Hadas Gold and his team, who were also at the scene of Friday night’s shooting, heard what sounded like celebratory gunfire and car horns from the nearby, mostly Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina.
The White House condemned the “heinous terrorist attack” on a synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday and said the United States government has given Israel its “full support,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
The US State Department also condemned the “obvious terrorist attack” in Jerusalem “in the strongest terms”.
“This is absolutely appalling,” said Deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel. “Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those killed and injured in this heinous act of violence.”
Patel said no change was expected in the schedule of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s upcoming trip to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank.
US Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff joined the Biden administration in denouncing Friday’s mass shooting that killed at least seven people. “This is a terrorist attack. This is murder,” Emhoff told reporters after touring the Oskar Schindler enamel factory in Kraków, Poland.
“This is something terrible. These were people who just prayed in a temple, went about their daily business and were murdered in cold blood, and that is unacceptable.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy joined those condemning the fatal shooting near a synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday, saying one of those killed in the attack was a Ukrainian citizen.
“We share (Israel’s) pain after the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. Among the victims is a (Ukrainian) woman. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims. The crimes were cynically committed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Terror has no place in today’s world. Neither in (Israel) nor in (Ukraine),” Zelenskyy said in a tweet.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates called for an end to escalating tensions.
In a statement released on Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry warned “that the situation between Palestinians and Israelis will degenerate into another serious escalation,” and the “Kingdom condemns all attacks on civilians and stresses the need to de-escalate and restore peace.” to process and finish the occupation.”
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry also warned of the “serious risks of the ongoing escalation” between Israel and Palestine, calling for “provocative measures to avoid falling into a vicious cycle of violence that is worsening the political and humanitarian situation and undermining de-escalation efforts and all chances to revive the peace process.”
The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation condemned and rejected “all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at undermining security and stability contrary to human values and principles”.
Egypt and the UAE have normalized relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia doesn’t.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom also condemned the shooting. “I am appalled by the reports of the horrific attack in Neve Yaakov tonight. The attack on believers in a synagogue on Erev Shabat is a particularly horrifying act of terrorism. Britain stands by Israel,” wrote Neil Wigan, the British Ambassador to Israel, on Twitter.
The French embassy in Israel tweeted that the incident was “all the more despicable for being marked on this international Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned Friday’s deadly attack, his spokesman said.
“It is particularly abhorrent that the attack took place at a place of worship and on the very day we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he said.
Guterres also expressed concern “about the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories” and urged everyone to “exercise utmost restraint.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his condolences to the families of the victims after the two attacks. Scholz said on Saturday that he was “deeply shaken” by the “terrible” attacks in Jerusalem over the past 24 hours.
Russia on Saturday urged all parties to show “maximum restraint” following the wave of deadly violence. “We are very concerned about this development of events. We call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent further escalation of tensions,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.