Gunman kills at least 5 people in East Jerusalem attack

A gunman opened fire and killed at least five people outside a synagogue in East Jerusalem before being shot dead, Israeli medics say.

After Friday’s shooting, the Magen David Adom emergency service said it was treating 10 wounded, some in critical condition.

Israeli police said the gunman was shot and killed at the scene.

“What we understand happened was a car pulled up at the front of a synagogue, a gunman got out  and opened fire,” Al Jazeera’s James Bays reported from East Jerusalem.

“Sources from the Israeli health service say five people have been killed. Some media are reporting that that could be higher – as many as seven killed. The information is pretty confused.”

A police statement said there was “terror attack in a synagogue in Jerusalem… The shooting terrorist was neutralised at the scene. Large police forces are at the scene.”

The attack follows a deadly Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank on Thursday in the Jenin refugee camp. Nine Palestinians were killed, including an elderly woman, after dozens of Israeli soldiers attacked a house containing suspected fighters, leading to several hours of intense fighting.

Gaza fighters then fired rockets and Israel carried out air strikes overnight, but the exchange was limited.

‘A natural response’

In Gaza, Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem told Reuters news agency Friday’s attack was “a response to the crime conducted by the occupation in Jenin and a natural response to the occupation’s criminal actions”. He stopped short of claiming the shooting.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad also praised but did not take responsibility for the attack.

Israeli military raids have become commonplace over the last year with at least 200 Palestinians – fighters and civilians – killed.

Israeli civilians and troops have also been killed in attacks by Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories.

Friday’s shooting came amid heightened tensions. Palestinians marched in anger as they buried the last of the Palestinians killed by Israeli troops the day earlier.

Scuffles between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters erupted after the funeral for a 22-year-old Palestinian north of Jerusalem and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank.

Crowds of Palestinians waved the flags of both Fatah, the party that controls the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, which rules Gaza. In the streets of the town called al-Ram, masked Palestinians threw stones and set off fireworks at Israeli police who responded with tear gas.

Israel’s opposition leader, former Prime Minister Yair Lapid, called Friday’s attack “horrific and heartbreaking”.

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