Palestinian gunman wounded 2, day after 7 killed in Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian man opened fire in east Jerusalem on Saturday, wounding two people, Israeli medics said, less than a day after another gunman killed seven outside a synagogue in the deadliest attack in -city since 2008.

A father and son, aged 47 and 23, were wounded in the shooting in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, near the historic city, paramedics said. Both were in hospital, fully conscious and in moderate to serious condition, the doctors added.

The Police said that they shot the attacker, and injured him. He was evacuated to a hospital, they said, and there was no further word on his condition.

Authorities cordoned off the scene of the attack, and rescue vehicles and security forces entered the area while helicopters circled overhead.

Saturday’s events – just a day before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to arrive in the region – raised the possibility of an even bigger conflagration in one of the bloodiest months in Israel and in -West Bank occupied in several years. On Friday, a Palestinian gunman killed at least seven people, including a 70-year-old woman, in a Jewish settlement with a large ultra-Orthodox population in East Jerusalem, a territory conquered by Israel in 1967 and more late annexation in a move that was recognized internationally.

The attacks represent a crucial test for Israel’s new far-right government. His Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, presented himself as an enforcer of law and order, and made headlines for promising to crack down even more on the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Benjamin said that he will convene his security cabinet on Saturday evening after the end of Saturday to discuss another response to the attack near the synagogue. Israeli police launched a security raid early Saturday.

Security forces swooped around the neighborhood of the 21-year-old Palestinian gunman and arrested 42 of his family members and neighbors for questioning in the At Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Police Chief Kobi Shabtai has beefed up forces across the city and ordered police to work 12-hour shifts, the statements said, and urged the public to call a hotline if they see anything suspicious.

The attack earlier Friday, which occurred as residents celebrated the Jewish Sabbath, came a day after an Israeli military strike killed nine Palestinians in the West Bank, prompting rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli retaliatory attacks.

Although calm appeared to have descended after the limited exchange of fire between Israel and the militants in Gaza, tension in Jerusalem and the West Bank was high.

Thursday’s raid, the deadliest single attack on the occupied territory since 2002, followed a particularly bloody month in which at least 30 Palestinians – militants and civilians – were killed in clashes with Israelis in the West Bank. West, according to a count by The Associated Press.

Israel says most of the dead were militants. But young people who were protesting against the raids and others not involved in the fighting were also killed.

Israel says its crackdowns serve to disrupt militant networks and thwart attacks. The Palestinians say they are cementing Israel’s 55-year indefinite occupation of the West Bank, which was captured along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the Middle East War of 1967.

Isabel Debre, The Associated Press


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