A gunman killed at the least seven Israelis in a capturing outdoors 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 outdoors the synagogue in Neve Ya’akov round 8.15pm native time as worshippers celebrated the Sabbath.
He opened fireplace on a number of folks earlier than fleeing and being killed by cops who had been known as to the scene. Along with the fatalities, police mentioned three different folks sustained accidents of various severity.
The capturing, which resulted in one of many worst Israeli dying tolls in recent times 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 evening, 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 facet.
The eruption of violence is the primary large conflict since Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline new government, broadly 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 more durable stance towards the Palestinians.
Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai initially mentioned on Friday evening that police had been “conducting searches within the space [of the shooting] to rule out the chance that there are extra folks concerned who’re nonetheless at massive”.
Police later mentioned their preliminary evaluation was the gunman had acted alone. There was no speedy declare of duty, though Palestinian militant teams praised the assault.
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 might spill over into a bigger confrontation.
Final yr was the bloodiest for Palestinians within the West Financial institution since 2005, in keeping with 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 evening, three Palestinians had been hospitalised after being shot close to Nablus within the north of the West Financial institution, in keeping with Palestinian media. The id of the shooter was not instantly clear.
The Palestinian Authority mentioned on Thursday evening 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 fearful” in regards to the escalating violence. “That is the second to train utmost restraint,” the spokesperson mentioned.