The car the terrorist used when he killed seven people in a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood (Photo: Police Spokesperson)
A terror attack in a Jewish settler neighborhood in east Jerusalem annexed by Israel has killed at least seven people while wounding at least 10, local media including Haaretz, Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post reported.
The attack occurred in a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood. According to The Jerusalem Post, the terrorist was identified as a 21-year-old named Alkam Khairi and had no known terrorist connections prior to the attack. He lived in the Shuafat neighborhood.
He opened fire on people leaving the Ateret Avraham synagogue after Friday night prayers. It was “neutralized,” the Magen David Adom emergency response service said. He was trying to escape from the crime scene.
The injured were taken to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, including a 70-year-old woman in critical condition; a 20-year-old man in serious condition; and a 14-year-old boy in serious but moderate condition.
Shooting at a Synagogue in Jerusalem
”Several injured in a shooting in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood in Jerusalem… Five injured at the scene. Terrorist neutralized,” the first MDA statement said. He later clarified that his doctors were treating ten victims. Minutes later, five of them were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the suspected attacker had been shot and neutralized, according to information from The Times of Israel.
Dozens of officers were dispatched to the scene, police said.
According to KAN, the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, “a manhunt for more terrorists is underway. The shooting was apparently carried out from a passing vehicle.”
A firearm used in the attack was seized.
The shooting was in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of east Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War.
Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir arrived at the scene and Shabtai said: “We are conducting scans in the area to rule out the possibility of more people involved who are walking freely.”
The weapon the terrorist was using in the shooting (POLICE SPOKESMAN UNIT)
MDA paramedic Fadi Dekidek said: “This is a very serious attack. We saw a woman and four men lying on the road. They suffered gunshot wounds and had no signs of life and we had to pronounce them dead on the spot. Three more injured, including a 70-year-old woman in critical condition, were evacuated to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus.”
“We are trained for this. Unfortunately, we cannot forget a terrorist attack and we experience each one anew. There’s nothing to do; this is the time to act professionally because that is the difference between life and death,” Dekidek continued.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was receiving updates, and will take part in an assessment of the situation later tonight.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid stated: “My heart breaks in these difficult times. I send my condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and a speedy recovery to the injured. Terrorism must not be allowed to rear its head anywhere. These threats must be dealt with harshly.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant completed a situation assessment where he was briefed on the terrorist attack and the activities of security forces, including intelligence gathering and investigation of the event. In this way, he instructed the defense establishment to prepare for any possible development on the ground, to support the efforts of the Israel Police and to increase defensive activities in Judea and Samaria, as well as in the Jerusalem area.
“The attack on civilians this Friday night was horrible and tragic. I would like to express my condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. Israel’s defense establishment will operate decisively and forcefully against terrorism and will reach out to anyone involved in the attack,” he said.
For his part, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai arrived at the scene of the incident shortly after the shooting occurred.
The United States strongly condemned the deadly attack on the synagogue on Friday and expressed solidarity with Israel ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit.
“This is absolutely horrifying,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.
“We condemn this apparent terrorist attack in the strongest terms. Our commitment to Israel’s security remains strong and we are in direct contact with our Israeli partners.”
What the parademics found upon arrival on the scene was a chaotic scene. Zaki Heller, a spokesman for MDA, said in a statement that five people were found dead. There were five injuries: a 30-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman were in critical condition; a 15-year-old boy in moderate to severe condition; a 24-year-old man and a woman in her 60s in moderate condition.
In total there were seven deaths (five men and two women) and three wounded (two men and one woman).
Paramedic Mda Lior Shasha said: “At the beginning of the street, a 15-year-old boy laid a vague recognition with gunshot wounds to his upper body. There were no other injuries with him and he was given medical treatment that saved his life. At the hospital he was immediately transported to the operating room ”.
Paramedics Eli Gartner and Kobi Weizman recounted: “When we arrived, we saw people from afar telling us to come. We got out of the ambulance and began to run in the direction. We saw 5 victims lying down with no signs of life who unfortunately could not be helped.”
(With information from AFP)
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