Jerusalem synagogue attack leaves at least seven dead, Israeli police say


Israeli police said at least seven people were killed and three wounded in a bomb attack near a synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday amid widespread unrest in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Police later killed the gunman Friday, according to police, in what police chief Yaakov Shabtai described as “one of the worst terror attacks in recent years.”

“As a result of the gun attack, the death of 7 civilians and 3 other people were injured from other injuries,” said the police.

Five of those shot were pronounced dead at the scene, Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency rescue agency said: four men and one woman. Five people were taken to hospital, where another man and woman were pronounced dead.

Among the injured was a 15-year-old boy, MDA said.

The attack happened at 8:15 pm local time, near a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Street, according to a police statement.

Shabtai said the gunman “started shooting at everyone in his way. He got into his car with a gun and used it to kill people.” Police said he ran from the vehicle and was killed after being shot by police.

The Israel Defense Forces entered the scene of an attack on a residential area in the eastern part of Jerusalem, on January 27, 2023.

The police identified the shooter as a 21-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, saying in a statement that he appeared to have acted alone. East Jerusalem is the largest Palestinian area in the city, which was captured by Israel in 1967.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged people not to take revenge on Friday night. “I call on people not to take orders from them. For that purpose we have army, police and security. They act and act according to the company’s guidelines,” he said.

The incident comes a day after the deadliest day for Palestinians in the West Bank in more than a year, according to CNN.

On Thursday, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and wounded several others in the West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, prompting the Palestinian Authority to suspend security arrangements with Israel. Ten Palestinians were killed that day in what Israeli police called “violent clashes” near Jerusalem.

At night, on Friday morning local time, Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after rockets were fired towards Israel.

Israeli security forces inspect a vehicle at the scene of a reported attack in a residential area in the Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem area, on January 27, 2023.

Controversial Israeli Defense Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the scene of the attack on Friday evening, telling the angry chanting crowd that “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,” Ben Gvir, who also leads the far-right Jewish Power Party, said.

Some people there were singing support for Ben Gvir, saying “You are our voice, we support you.”

CNN’s Hadas Gold and colleagues, who were at the scene of the shooting Friday night, heard what sounded like ceremonial gunfire and car horns blaring from the Palestinian neighborhood closest to Beit Hanina.

The White House condemned the “horrific terrorist attack” on a synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday and said the United States government has extended “full support” to Israel, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

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

“This is an outrageous incident,” State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said. “Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those killed and injured in this heinous act.”

Patel said that no change in the schedule of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s upcoming trip to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank is expected.

Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir talks with the Israeli army on January 27, 2023.

The European Union, France and the UK also condemned the killing.

“The news of the horrific attack on Neve Yaakov shocked me. Attacking worshipers in a synagogue on Erev Shabat is a heinous act of terrorism. The UK supports Israel,” Neil Wigan, who the British embassy in Israel wrote on Twitter.

The EU ambassador to Israel, Dimiter Tzantchev, also condemned the “senseless violence,” saying in a tweet, “Fear is not the answer.”

The French and Israeli embassies tweeted that the incident was “more despicable than it was done on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

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

He said: “It is a terrible thing that the attack happened in a place of worship, and on that day, we commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Guterres expressed concern “about the current crisis in Israel and the Palestinian territories,” urging all to “retain strength.”


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