Jerusalem: what we know about the attacks that left seven dead and five injured

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“One of the worst attacks” suffered by Israel in recent years. This is how the head of the Israeli police, Kobi Shabtai, described the attack which took place this Friday evening near a synagogue in East Jerusalem, when at least seven people were killed. This Saturday morning, a new attack hit East Jerusalem, injuring two, according to the Israeli emergency services.

An update on what we know about this act, as tensions between Israelis and Palestinians escalate after a deadly raid in the West Bank.

An attack in the middle of Shabbat

The facts took place near a synagogue in the Neve Yaacov neighborhood, a Jewish settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem, part of the Holy City annexed by Israel. A man opened fire in the street around 8:15 p.m. Friday evening, Israel Police said in a statement. A total of seven people died and three were injured by the shooter. They are currently hospitalized in serious condition.

Israeli emergency services said a 70-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy were among the gunshot victims, but it was unclear if they were among the survivors. A Ukrainian woman is among seven people who have died, confirmed midday on Saturday by the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel on Facebook and President Volodymyr Zelensky on Twitterwho said he “shares the pain of the Israelis”.

The attack took place as the victims gathered to celebrate Shabbat, a holy day in the Jewish religion, and as this Friday marked the international day dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Suspect shot dead by police

The assailant was a 21-year-old Palestinian. He was “neutralized and pronounced dead” after a car chase and shootout with police, according to Dean Elsdunne, international spokesman for the Israel Police. The weapon used to commit the murderous act was seized by the police, he said.

Following the events, 42 people were arrested for questioning, law enforcement said on Saturday. “Some are part of the terrorist’s family,” they added. Others among the arrested suspects live in his neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

Israeli police on ‘highest alert’

News of the attack was followed by scenes of jubilation in Ramallah and the Gaza Strip by residents waving Palestinian flags. At the scene of the shooting, dozens of Israelis greeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with cries of “Death to the Arabs!” “.

The Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, a figure of the extreme right, also went to the scene of the attack. Benjamin Netanyahu promised a “strong” and “swift” Israeli response, calling on Israelis not to take justice into their own hands but to rely on the army and the police. In a statement, the latter said that the national forces had been placed on “highest alert”.

On the Palestinian side, Hazem Qassem, spokesman for the Islamist movement Hamas, said the attack was “a natural reaction to the crimes of the occupation (Israeli) against our Palestinian people. During his speech in Gaza, he recalled the death, the day before, of nine Palestinians during a raid by the Israeli army in Jenin, in the north of the occupied West Bank. The Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah for its part hailed in a press release a “heroic” operation

A second attack

This Saturday, a new attack in East Jerusalem injured two people, according to the Israeli emergency services. It was perpetrated at the City of David archaeological site in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood on the edge of the Old City. Police said the suspect was “incapacitated and injured” and was a 13-year-old Palestinian.

The Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency services, said the two victims were a 23-year-old man and a 47-year-old man and his son, with “gunshot wounds to the upper body “.

The international community condemns

This murderous attack was unanimously condemned by the international community, from the UN to Washington via Paris. “It is particularly despicable that this attack occurred on a place of worship, and (on this) day of commemoration” of the genocide of the Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War, declared in particular the spokesperson for Antonio Guterres Secretary General of the United Nations.

“This attack against civilians, at the time of prayer, and on the day of international commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust, is particularly despicable”, for its part affirmed the Quai d’Orsay, before Emmanuel Macron mentioned this Saturday morning “a heinous act”. The President of the Republic called for “the cycle of violence” to be “avoided at all costs”.

US President Joe Biden slammed the “atrocious terrorist attack” as an “attack on the civilized world”, according to a statement from the White House. Russian diplomacy finally declared itself “deeply concerned” on Saturday and called on all parties to “maximum restraint”.

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