A Palestinian gunman has wounded at least two people after opening fire in east Jerusalem this morning.
Yesterday another assailant killed seven outside a synagogue in the deadliest attack in the city since 2008.
The shooting took place in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem, and wounded at least two men, aged 23 and 47, in their upper bodies.
Paramedics said they were fully conscious and in moderate to serious condition in the hospital.
The attacker was shot by police, but there was no immediate word on his condition.
A man on a stretcher, suspected to be attacker, is brought to a Police van by Israeli police officers at the scene of a shooting near the Old City in Jerusalem
Israeli security forces gather in Jerusalem’s predominantly Arab neighbourhood of Silwan, where an assailant reportedly shot and wounded two people
Israeli police officers and rescue services at the scene of a shooting
The scene of the attack was taped off while emergency vehicles and security forces swarmed the area.
Saturday’s events raised the possibility of further escalation in one of the bloodiest months in Israel and the occupied West Bank in several years.
On Friday, a Palestinian gunman killed at least seven people in a Jewish settlement with a large ultra-Orthodox population in east Jerusalem.
Police said the gunman arrived at around 8.15 pm and opened fire, hitting a number of people before he was killed by police.
TV footage showed several victims lying in the road outside the synagogue being tended to by emergency workers.
Israeli emergency service personnel and security forces stand near a covered body at the site of a reported attack in a settler neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, on January 27, 2023.
Israeli forces work near the scene of a shooting attack in Neve Yaacov
The attack, which police described as a ‘terrorist incident’, underlined fears of an escalation in violence after months of clashes in the West Bank culminating in an Israeli raid in Jenin on Thursday that killed at least nine Palestinians.
A police spokesman said the death toll stands at seven, with others injured. The gunman was shot and killed at the scene.
The Magen David Adom emergency response service reported a total of 10 gunshot victims, including a 70-year-old and a 14-year-old boy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir – leader of one of the hardline nationalist parties in Netanyahu’s new government – visited the site of the attack and were greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos.
The events pose pivotal test for Israel’s new far-right government. Its firebrand minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has presented himself as an enforcer of law and order and grabbed headlines for his promises to take even stronger action against the Palestinians.
Israeli police had launched a security crackdown early on Saturday following the attack near the synagogue.
Victims of a shooting attack are covered on the ground near a synagogue in Jerusalem, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.
Security forces fanned out into the gunman’s neighborhood of At-Tur in east Jerusalem and arrested 42 family members, neighbors and others close to him for questioning. Police Chief Kobi Shabtai beefed up security forces and instructed police to work 12-hour shifts, the statements said, urging the public to call a hotline if they see anything suspicious.
The earlier Friday attack, which occurred as residents were observing the Jewish sabbath, came a day after an Israeli military raid killed nine Palestinians in the West Bank. Friday’s shooting set off celebrations in both the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, where people fired guns into the air, honked horns and distributed sweets.
The burst of violence also included a rocket barrage from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes and also cast a cloud over a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the region Sunday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had held a security assessment and decided on “immediate actions.” He said he would convene his Security Cabinet on Saturday night, after the end of the sabbath, to discuss a further response.