JERUSALEM — A Palestinian instructor disguised as an ultra-Orthodox Jew shot useless an Israeli tour information with an automated gun close to the holiest web site in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, Israeli officers mentioned. It was the primary killing of a Jewish Israeli civilian by a Palestinian gunman since Could.
The militant Islamist group, Hamas, mentioned the gunman was a senior member of its motion in East Jerusalem.
The assault instantly revived calls from right-wing Israelis to put in metallic detectors close to the entrances to the holy web site — often known as the Temple Mount to Jews and because the Noble Sanctuary or the Aqsa Mosque compound to Muslims — a proposal that set off lethal unrest amongst Palestinians when Israel final tried to implement the thought in 2017. Such a plan would additionally danger aggravating tensions inside the fragile Israeli governing coalition, a various alliance that features Jewish right-wing events and an Arab group.
Tensions over the positioning, which is sacred to each Jews and Muslims, performed a significant function within the prelude to an 11-day struggle between Israel and Hamas this 12 months.
The gunman within the assault on Sunday opened fireplace on not less than three civilians and two cops shortly after 9 a.m. in an alley outdoors the positioning. One civilian was killed by a shot to the pinnacle, a second civilian was reasonably wounded and two cops and a 3rd civilian had been calmly damage, in response to Magen David Adom, the Israeli affiliate of the Worldwide Pink Cross.
The person killed was later named by the police as Eliyahu Kay, a tour information who was on his approach to work on the Western Wall, the final remaining a part of an historic Jewish temple that was destroyed in antiquity.
The attacker was carrying the garments of an ultra-Orthodox Jew and was shot useless by safety officers seconds after the assault, in response to Omer Bar Lev, an Israeli minister who oversees the police.
The gunman was named within the Israeli and Palestinian information media as Fadi Abu Shkhaydem, 42, a instructor from a Palestinian district in East Jerusalem. In an announcement revealed by a tv channel owned by the militant group Hamas, he was recognized as a senior chief of the motion in Shuafat, an space of East Jerusalem that principally homes Palestinians whose households fled preventing in the course of the Arab-Israeli struggle of 1948.
Within the assertion, Hamas — which runs the Gaza Strip and is taken into account a terrorist group by the US, Israel and different international locations — praised the attacker and acknowledged his function inside the motion however didn’t straight declare duty for the assault.
Political violence is frequent within the Previous Metropolis of Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel from Jordan in the course of the Arab-Israeli struggle of 1967 and later annexed. Law enforcement officials killed a second Palestinian assailant within the Previous Metropolis this previous week after a separate assault, and shot useless two others in failed makes an attempt in September.
Palestinians regard the Previous Metropolis as occupied and hope that it’s going to type a part of the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The assault on Sunday was comparatively uncommon as a result of it concerned a gun and since such assaults don’t usually consequence within the dying of an Israeli civilian. Different latest makes an attempt within the Previous Metropolis have seen attackers wielding knives and focusing on safety officers, however the assailants had been shot useless by the police earlier than with the ability to kill anybody.
In an announcement, Mr. Bar Lev mentioned that the assailant’s spouse left for a overseas nation three days in the past, implying a point of forethought to the assault.
After the killing, a second authorities minister, Yoaz Hendel, known as for the set up of metallic detectors outdoors the Aqsa compound, a transfer initially proposed by Israel in 2017 however aborted after it set off violence that left a number of individuals useless.
For Jews, the Temple Mount is taken into account probably the most sacred place in Judaism as a result of it was as soon as the placement of two temples the place custom holds that God’s presence was revealed. For Palestinians, the Noble Sanctuary is seen as central to their nationwide id as a result of in Islamic custom, it’s the place the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
A go to to the positioning in 2000 by Ariel Sharon, then the chief of the Israeli opposition who a 12 months later grew to become prime minister, is seen as one of many primary sparks of the second Palestinian intifada, or rebellion.
Since 1967, Israel has allowed the Jordanian authorities to retain administrative oversight of the positioning, and nominally permits Jews solely to go to the compound, to not pray there. However Israel additionally retains general safety oversight and controls entry. The Israeli police lately started to quietly permit Jewish prayer on the web site, and have usually raided it throughout occasions of unrest. A number of Israeli raids final April and Could shaped the backdrop to a subsequent 11-day struggle between Israel and militants in Gaza.
Main flare-ups in Gaza have been averted since Could as the 2 sides conduct oblique negotiations to stabilize the cease-fire. However low-level violence has surged within the occupied West Financial institution. In keeping with data compiled by the United Nations, 76 Palestinians have been killed up to now this 12 months throughout protests, clashes and raids within the West Financial institution — greater than in any 12 months since 2016. Assaults by Israeli settlers on Palestinians within the West Financial institution are additionally at a five-year excessive, in response to United Nations knowledge.
No less than 12 Israelis have been killed within the West Financial institution in 2021, greater than in both 2019 or 2020, however decrease than in 2017 or 2018.
Irit Pazner Garshowitzcontributed analysis.