Israel police hit back
Palestinian killed after shooting in Jerusalem
A Palestinian motorist launched a shooting spree near the Israeli police headquarters in Jerusalem yesterday, killing two people and wounding five others before being shot dead, Israeli police and emergency services said.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker sped toward a busy stop of the city’s light rail and opened fire, seriously wounding a 60year-old woman waiting there. He then continued driving and shot another woman who was seated in her car before speeding off toward an Arab neighbourhood in east Jerusalem. Samri said police officers on motorcycles chased the assailant, who eventually stepped out of his vehicle and opened fire at them. A 30-year-old police officer was critically wounded in the shootout.
A separate police force ultimately shot and killed the attacker, Samri said. She identified him as a 39-year-old man. Israeli media reported the man had previously served multiple sentences for violent acts and was due to report to prison yesterday for another sentence.
Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency medical service said it treated seven people for various gunshot injuries, two of whom later died of their wounds. Police cordoned off the area of the shooting. The attack was an unusual one in the yearlong spate of Palestinian assaults since most have been stabbings. Sunday’s was the deadliest attack on Israelis since June 8, when two Palestinians opened fire and killed four people at a Tel Aviv food market.
About 219 Palestinians have been killed during that period, with Israel saying the vast majority of them were attackers. Israel has blamed a recent surge in violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders. The Palestinians say it is rooted in some 50 years of military occupation and dwindling hopes for independence.
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Gaza's Islamic Hamas leaders, welcomed the attack in a statement saying it was “a natural response.” Hamas stopped short of taking responsibility for the attack but identified the assailant as a member.
Attacker sped towards a busy stop of city’s light rail and opened fire, wounding one woman – Israel police spokeswoan
ON GUARD: An Israeli officer points his weapon as the area of the attack is sealed off