Jerusalem: Two wounded in shooting after synagogue attack leaves seven dead, police say


Two people were injured in a shooting in Jerusalem Saturday, emergency services said, a day after gunmen killed at least seven people near a synagogue in the city.

The two men, a 22-year-old and a man in his 40s, who were injured in the City of David area of ​​Jerusalem on Saturday were father and son, according to police. A 13-year-old police officer who said he shot and wounded the couple was “subdued and wounded” by “two passers-by with licensed weapons.”

Tensions remained high in Israel and the Palestinian territories following Friday’s shooting, which police chief Yaakov Shabtai described as “one of the worst terrorist attacks in the past few years”. The gunman in that attack was also later shot dead by police, according to police.

“As a result of the shooting, seven civilians have been determined to have died and three others were seriously injured,” police said.

Five of the shooting victims were pronounced dead at the scene: four men and a woman, Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency service said. Five people were taken to hospital and another man and a woman were pronounced dead. The MDA said a 15-year-old boy was among the injured.

The attack happened around 8:15 p.m. local time on Friday, near a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Street, according to a police statement.

Shabtai said the gunman “started shooting people who were in the way. He got into the car and started killing people at close range with a pistol.” He then fled the scene in a car and was killed after a shootout with police, police said.

Israeli security personnel work near the scene of Saturday's shooting.

According to police, the two men injured in the City of David area of ​​Jerusalem are father and son.

Police identified the shooter as a 21-year-old East Jerusalem resident and said in a statement that he appeared to be acting alone. East Jerusalem, the predominantly Palestinian part of the city, was occupied by Israel in 1967.

Referring to Saturday’s attack, a community leader said the 13-year-old suspected gunman knew a 16-year-old Palestinian who died a day earlier from gunshot wounds. Jawad Siam, director of the nonprofit Silwanic 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 Silwan, East Jerusalem.

The 13-year-old suspect was a neighbor of a 16-year-old Palestinian who died of gunshot wounds in hospital Friday night, according to Siam. The 16-year-old was shot and killed by Israeli police on Wednesday.

Of the two men injured on Saturday, the 22-year-old is in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit receiving anesthesia and a ventilator, while his 47-year-old father is in a moderately stable condition.

On Friday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged people not to carry out retaliatory attacks. “I call on people not to take the law into their own hands. For this, we have the army, the police and the security forces. They will follow the instructions of the cabinet,” he said.

Friday’s incident came on the heels of the deadliest day for Palestinian deaths in the West Bank in more than a year, according to CNN records.

Israeli security forces were at the scene of the attack in Jerusalem on Friday.

Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and wounded several others in the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, prompting the Palestinian Authority to suspend security coordination with Israel, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. That day, a tenth Palestinian was killed in what Israeli police described as “violent unrest” near Jerusalem.

Overnight, on Friday morning local time, Israel launched an airstrike on the Gaza Strip after firing rockets into Israel.

Israel’s controversial national security minister, Itamar bin Gvir, visited the site of the attack on Friday night and told the angry chanting crowd “it cannot go on like this”.

“I can tell you, [the people chanting] you are right. The burden is upon us. It cannot continue like this,” said Ben Gewell, who also leads the far-right Jewish Power party.

Someone at the scene chanted solidarity with Ben Gvir, saying, “You are our spokesperson, and we support you.”

CNN’s Hadas Gold and his team were also at the scene of the Friday night shooting when they heard celebratory gunfire and cars from the nearby predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina Horn sound.

White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the White House condemned Friday’s “heinous terrorist attack” on a synagogue in Jerusalem and said the U.S. government had extended its “full support” to Israel.

The US State Department also condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the “clear terrorist attack” in Jerusalem.

“It’s absolutely horrific,” said State Department deputy spokesman Vedante Patel. “Our condolences, prayers and condolences to those killed and injured in this heinous act of violence.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s upcoming trip to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank is not expected to change, Patel said.

Israel's Minister of State Security Itamar Ben-Gvir talks to Israeli troops on January 27, 2023.

Forensic experts examine a body after an attack near a synagogue in Jerusalem, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.

The European Union, France and the United Kingdom also condemned the shooting.

“I am appalled by reports of the horrific attack on Neve Yaakov tonight. The attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Erev Shabat is a particularly horrific act of terrorism. Britain stands with Israel,” said Neve Yaakov, the British ambassador to Israel. Wilwegen wrote on Twitter.

Dimiter Tzantchev, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel, also condemned the “senseless violence,” tweeting that “terror is never the solution.”

The French embassy in Israel said on Twitter that the incident “came even more despicable on International Holocaust Remembrance Day”.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned Friday’s deadly attack, his spokesman said.

“It is especially abhorrent that the attack took place at a place of worship and on a day when we are marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he said.

Guterres also expressed concern about the “current escalation of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, urging all to “exercise maximum restraint”.

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz and other EU officials expressed condolences to the families of the victims after the twin attacks. Schultz said on Saturday he was “deeply appalled” by the “horrific” attacks in Jerusalem over the past 24 hours.

“There are deaths and injuries in the heart of Israel,” he tweeted. “My heart goes out to the victims and their families. Germany stands by Israel,” Schulz added.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that the bloc was “appalled” by the “appalling terrorist” attacks in Jerusalem on Friday and Saturday.

“The EU strongly condemns these insane acts of violence and hatred,” Borrell said. The EU’s top diplomat added: “These horrific events demonstrate once again how urgent it is to reverse this cycle of violence and make meaningful efforts to restart peace talks.” He called on “all parties not to react to provocations.”

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