Seven Israeli people were killed in a shooting at a Synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday night. Local police have described the incident as a terrorist attack.
The shooting occurred at a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of East Jerusalem. According to Israeli police, the gunman arrived by car at around 20:15 local time and opened fire at people around the synagogue.
The gunman then left the scene but was intercepted by police. He then reportedly shot at the police who returned fire. He was killed in the ensuing gunfight.
Shooting incident at Jerusalem synagogue
According to Israeli media sources, the gunman was a local resident of East Jerusalem. He reportedly waited in his car near the synagogue until Shabbat prayers concluded and then exited the vehicle and began firing at people as they left the building.
Magen David Adom ambulance service has said that their medics had found that seven people were killed at the scene. Others were injured.
The unidentified gunman fled from the scene of the shooting towards the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina. He was however intercepted and “neutralized”, according to the police.
The shooter’s motive and identity remain unknown, although Palestinian media sources have claimed that he was a Palestinian from the Shuafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Tensions remain high between the Israeli and Palestinian populations living in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the country. Incidents of violence are not uncommon.
2022 marked one of the most violent years in recent history for Israelis and Palestinians. “The violent trends that dominated the last months of 2022 continue to take a devastating human toll. The violence must stop,” said Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, during a United Nations Security Council briefing.
Officials representing the United States have decried that attack. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is scheduled to visit Israel, as well as the West Bank, and Egypt just days after the Jerusalem shooting.
“This is absolutely horrific,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said, “We condemn this apparent terrorist attack in the strongest terms. Our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad, and we are in direct touch with our Israeli partners.”
We stand with the Israeli people in solidarity,” he added.
Greece’s ambassador to Israel, Kyriakos Loukakis, also condemned the attack. “Appalled by tonight’s hideous terrorist attack at Neve Yaakov synagogue on Int’l Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he said on Twitter, “Our thoughts to the victims & condolences to their families. We deplore loss of human lives and condemn all acts of terrorism.”
Appalled by tonight’s hideous terrorist attack at Neve Yaakov synagogue on Int’l Holocaust Remembrance Day. Our thoughts to the victims & condolences to their families. We deplore loss of human lives and condemn all acts of terrorism. @GreeceInTelAviv @GreeceMFA @EUinIsrael
— Kyriakos Loukakis (@k_loukakis) January 27, 2023
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