Shooting at the holy site in Jerusalem leaves one dead, four wounded

Israel says the shooting at a holy site for Jews and Muslims by a Palestinian armed man has left one dead and four wounded.

The attack took place near an entrance to a controversial hotspot shrine known by Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, police said.

Violence around the site, which is considered sacred by both faiths, has triggered previous rounds of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, most recently in May.

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital confirmed that one person had been killed after the shooting.

Police said another person was seriously injured while three others had minor injuries.

They said two of the wounded were officers and identified the attacker as a resident of East Jerusalem in the 1940s.

The suspect, identified by Palestinian media as Fadi Abu Shkhaidem, was killed by police.

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev told reporters that the gunman was a member of Hamas’ political arm from the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem and that the man’s wife had left the country three days earlier.

Hamas describes the attack as ‘heroic’

The militant Hamas group praised the attack in a statement, but stopped without taking responsibility and called the incident a “heroic operation”.

“The resistance of our people will continue to be legitimate by all means and tools against the Zionist occupiers until our desired goals are reached and the occupation is driven from our holy places and all our lands,” said spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanou.

Dimiter Tzantchev, the designated EU ambassador to Israel, said in a statement online that his thoughts were “with the victims of the cowardly attack on the Old City of Jerusalem” and condemned “this senseless attack on civilians. Violence is never the answer”.

Sunday’s event was the second of its kind in Jerusalem’s historic Old City in recent days, but shootings are relatively rare.

On Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager was killed shot after stabbing two Israeli border police.

In that incident, the two officers were admitted to the hospital and the teenager, identified by police as a 16-year-old from East Jerusalem, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks targeting Israeli civilians and security personnel in recent years.

Palestinians and rights groups claim that some of the alleged car crashes were accidents and accuse Israel of using excessive force.

Israel conquered East Jerusalem, including the Old City and its Christian, Muslim, and Jewish holy sites, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1967 Middle East War.

It later annexed East Jerusalem in a move that was not recognized by most of the international community.

The Palestinians are seeking the occupied West Bank and Gaza for a future independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

AP

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