Attack in Israel: Seven dead after shots at a synagogue in Jerusalem

Several people were shot dead in front of a synagogue in an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem. The police spoke of a terrorist attack with seven dead. Other people were injured.

According to police reports the attacker arrived at the synagogue around 8:30 p.m. local time. The Israeli broadcaster i24 reports that he must have stopped nearby in a car and shortly afterwards opened fire. Shots had been fired for several minutes. It is unclear whether the shooter entered the synagogue or shot at people coming out from outside.

The attacker tried to flee in a car, she writes Jerusalem Post. He fired in the direction of rushed police officers. They then shot him several hundred meters away from the crime scene. The police confirmed the man’s death.

The attack took place in the settlement of Neve Yaakov. The eastern part of Jerusalem is mostly inhabited by Palestinians, but has been under the control of the Israeli government since the 1967 Six-Day War.

The violence in the region is thus increasing. The radical Islamic Hamas ruling in the Gaza Strip celebrated the attacker and his attack with aerial shots. According to media reports, the perpetrator killed was a 21-year-old Palestinian from the Shuafat refugee camp. In the West Bank, cars honked and fireworks were set off. A Hamas spokesman said the attack was in retaliation for actions by the Israeli army in the city of Jenin on Thursday.

According to the Palestinian health authority, nine Palestinians were killed and 20 others injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers. It was one of the deadliest military operations in the Palestinian Authority in years. According to the military, the forces were shot at while attempting to arrest several members of the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad.

A few hours later, the Israeli military reported that two rockets had been fired from Palestinian territory and intercepted. Israel then said it attacked an underground production facility for military rockets belonging to the radical Islamic group Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Friday night with warplanes.

Assassination on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the population not to take the law into their own hands. “For this we have an army and a police force that receive instructions from the cabinet.” The security cabinet had been convened for Saturday evening. “We will act decisively and calmly.” Meanwhile, Israel’s right-wing extremist police minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, called for citizens “to be better armed to avoid such attacks.”

Politicians around the world condemned the attack, which the perpetrator carried out on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “deeply concerned about the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory”. US President Joe Biden offered Netanyahu “all reasonable means of support” in a telephone call, the White House said. His foreign minister, Antony Blinken, spoke of a “horrible terrorist attack”.

The German ambassador to Israel also expressed his condolences. He was deeply saddened by the reports, Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter, and spoke of a “wicked act of terrorism against Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day.” His sympathy goes to “the families of the murdered victims and I pray for the health of the injured”. Green leader Omid Nouripour also reacted concerned. “A terrorist attack near a synagogue on Holocaust Remembrance Day is unsurpassed in cruelty,” he said on Twitter.

On January 27, 1945, Red Army soldiers liberated the survivors of the German concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz in occupied Poland. The Nazis had murdered more than a million people there.

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