7 dead in shooting outside east Jerusalem synagogue

JERUSALEM: A gunman kills seven in the east Jerusalem synagogue on Friday, Israeli police said, in a dramatic escalation of violence following a deadly raid in west coast one day earlier.
The shooting in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem came even as international calls for calm grew after Israeli and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip exchanged missiles earlier in the day. Friday.
“At approximately 8:30 p.m. (18:30 GMT), a terrorist approached a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Avenue in Jerusalem and opened fire on several people in the area,” a statement from the ministry said. Police added that the shooter was “disabled”.
A police spokesman told AFP that seven people were killed.
Magen David Adom Emergency Response Service reported a total of 10 victims, including a 70-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy.
“I heard a lot of bullets,” Matanel Almalem, an 18-year-old student who lives near the synagogue, told AFP.
Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir was at the scene shortly after, an AFP photographer reported. Police are dismantling a white vehicle believed to belong to the gunman.
The US condemned the “absolutely horrific” attack.
“Our commitment to Israel’s security remains unchanged and we are in direct communication with our Israeli partners,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.
Just hours earlier, Washington had called for a “de-escalation” over the violence in the West Bank and the rocket fire in Gaza.
Nine people were killed on Thursday in what Israel described as an “anti-terrorist” operation at the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.
It was one of the deadliest Israeli military attacks on the occupied West Bank since the second Palestinian uprising, or intifada, from 2000 to 2005.
Israel said Islamic Jihad fighters were the target.
The Islamic Jihad and Hamas that control Gaza vowed to retaliate, then fired multiple rockets into Israeli territory.
Most of the missiles were intercepted by Israeli air defenses. The military responded with attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza.
No injuries were reported on either side, but Gaza’s armed groups have vowed to take further action.
The United Nations human rights office had earlier called for an end to the “endless cycle of violence” in the West Bank, writing on Twitter that it “must stop”.
As Israeli forces raided the crowded Jenin refugee camp early Thursday morning, gunfire echoed through the streets and smoke rose from burning barricades.
The military said Israeli forces were attacked during an “anti-terrorist operation to capture a team of Islamic Jihad terrorists” and shot dead several enemy fighters.
The violence prompted the Palestinian Authority to announce cuts in security coordination with Israel, a move criticized by the United States.
The military said the attack targeted Islamic Jihad fighters, who are believed to be behind attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, and, according to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, is being planned. conduct a terrorist attack in Israel”.
An army statement said three Palestinians were shot in a shootout, while Israeli forces shot two more “who were fleeing the scene”. Israeli forces also shot a sixth suspect inside a building, and other Palestinians were hit by bullets after opening fire on troops, the army said.
There were no casualties among Israeli forces, the military added.
Wisam Bakr, director of Jenin Government Hospital, said there was a “state of panic” in the pediatric ward, with some children suffocating from tear gas.
The Israeli military told AFP it was “operating not far from the hospital and it was possible that tear gas could enter through an open window”.
Resident Jenin Umm Youssef al-Sawalmi said homes were hit during the raid. “The windows, the doors, the walls and even the fridge, everything was damaged by bullets,” she told AFP.
Thursday’s deaths brought the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank this year to 30, including militants and civilians, most of whom were shot by Israeli forces.
Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri vowed that Israel “will pay the price for the massacre of Jenin”.
Washington earlier on Thursday announced that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel next week to Israel and the Palestinian territories, where he will push for an “end to the cycle of violence”.
A State Department spokesman on Friday confirmed the visit would go ahead.
Tolls increase after the deadliest year in the Palestinian territory recorded by the United Nations.
At least 26 Israelis and 200 Palestinians have been killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories by 2022, mostly in the West Bank, according to AFP tally from official sources.


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