Israeli police: Palestinian gunman kills 2, wounds 5
JERUSALEM — A Palestinian motorist launched a shooting spree near the national headquarters of the Israeli police in Jerusalem on Sunday, killing two people and wounding five others before being shot dead after a frenzied chase through the streets of the holy city, Israeli police and emergency services said.
The daytime attack, carried out by a member of the Hamas militant group, was one of the bloodiest during a yearlong spate of Palestinian assaults. Israel had beefed up security in recent weeks, warning that violence could rise during the current Jewish high holiday season.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker sped toward a busy stop of the city’s light rail and opened fire, hitting a 60-year-old woman. He continued driving and shot another woman who was seated in her car before speeding off toward an Arab neighborhood 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 separate police force shot and killed the attacker, Samri said.
Police identified one of the dead as a 29-year-old male police officer, Yosef Kirma. The 60-year-old woman also died.
Police said the shooter was a 39-year-old man from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. They did not release his name.
Israeli media reported the man had previously served multiple sentences for violent acts and was due to report to prison Sunday for another sentence over assaulting a police officer.
Hamas stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack. But in a statement, it identified the shooter as Musbah Abu Sbaih, an activist in the group.
Israeli security forces attend a funeral Sunday for police Officer Yosef Kirma.