Gun attack in Jerusalem leaves one dead and three wounded

One person was killed and three others injured Sunday morning in a rare firearm attack by a Palestinian member of Hamas in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli authorities said. “Around 9:00 am local time (07:00 GMT), an armed terrorist opened fire in the Old City of Jerusalem. Two civilians were seriously injured and two policemen slightly injured, ”police said. An AFP journalist at the scene heard bursts of gunfire and screams.

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Later, Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, which was injured in the attack, said that a person in his 30s had died from his injuries. This is Eliyahu Kaye, 25, a new immigrant from South Africa, who was killed “on the way to his workplace,” according to the organization that manages the Western Wall, the holiest place of prayer for Jews. He will be buried in Jerusalem on Monday, the family said, adding that he arrived in Israel in 2016 and joined the Israeli army “out of love for his country.”

A premeditated attack

Immediately after this weapons attack, which is rare in the Old City of Jerusalem, located in the Palestinian area occupied and annexed by Israel, numerous police officers were deployed. The body of the assailant remained on the ground for a long time before the police confirmed his death.

Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said on television that the attacker was a Palestinian, “a member of Hamas,” who lived in the Shuafat neighborhood in east Jerusalem. He was 42 years old according to the police. “He was a member of Hamas, the political wing, not the armed wing. From the images we have, it seems that he was wearing a large galabeya (traditional dress) or disguised himself as an Orthodox Jew ”, to hide his weapon, Omer Bar-Lev told the Israeli channel Kan. “His wife left (the country) three days ago and his son is also abroad (….). It seems that this attack is premeditated, “he added.

In a statement, Hamas leaders confirmed that the attacker, posing as Fadi Abou Chkhaydem, was indeed a member of the organization, however, without directly claiming the attack, which occurs six months after the end of the attack. Last war between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. “Our martyr in Jerusalem spent his life preaching jihad … this heroic operation is a warning to our enemy and his government to stop occupying our lands,” Hamas said in a statement from the Gaza Strip, an enclave. Palestinian under strict Israeli Blockade. In a recent sermon delivered in a Jerusalem mosque, and of which AFP saw a recording, the aggressor accuses the Israelis “of being the fathers of oppression, financed by Satan and the United Arab Emirates”, a country that in the past normalized relations with Israel. year.

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Following this attack, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called for “strengthening” the security system in Jerusalem and called for “vigilance” in the run-up to the Jewish Hanukkah holidays, celebrated from November 28. President Yitzhak Herzog, who flew to London on Sunday, said that “the international community should recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization,” according to a statement from his office.

Tensions for several days

Israeli police also announced that they had arrested a Palestinian, living in the Jenin region (in the northern occupied West Bank), on suspicion of stabbing a 67-year-old man in Jaffa on Sunday afternoon. On Wednesday, a 16-year-old Palestinian carried out a knife attack in East Jerusalem against Israeli forces, injuring two before being shot and killed by police. Clashes broke out at night between Palestinian residents and Israeli security forces in the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem, where the young aggressor is from, according to an AFP photographer.

These tensions have continued in recent days, according to police and witnesses. Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Israel have been the scene since October 2015 and for months of attacks on Israel, mostly by young isolated Palestinians. Since then, this violence has decreased in intensity, but persists sporadically. Some 200,000 Israelis live in East Jerusalem, where 300,000 Palestinians also reside. Israeli colonization, illegal under international law, has continued under all Israeli governments since 1967.

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