Several people have been killed by gunfire in an Israeli settlement in east Jerusalem. According to the latest police information, seven people were shot dead. Several others were injured, the police said on Twitter on Friday evening. A police spokeswoman had previously given the number of dead as eight. The attacker was therefore "neutralized", it said. It was initially unclear whether he was killed. The police initially did not confirm such reports when asked.
The attacker went to a synagogue in the Israeli settlement of Neve Yaakov around 8:30 p.m. (local time) and opened fire there, the police said in the tweet. The Jerusalem Post reported that the assassin shot at people as they left the synagogue.
According to the Israeli rescue service Magen David Adom, several of the injured were taken to a nearby hospital. Several are in critical condition.
The US government called the act "absolutely appalling". "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this apparently terrorist attack," US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said in Washington. "Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those who were killed and injured in this despicable act of violence."
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank responded to the terrorist attack with celebrations. Eyewitnesses reported militants shooting up in the air and pouring into the streets on Friday night. A spokesman for the radical Islamist Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, said the attack was "retaliation for the Israeli army's attack on the Jenin refugee camp".
situation clearly aggravated
The day before, there had been violent clashes in several places in the West Bank. The trigger was a raid in which Israeli soldiers engaged in a firefight with militant Palestinians in Jenin. Nine Palestinians were killed, including several members of the Palestinian militant organization Islamic Jihad.
The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories has deteriorated significantly in recent days. Today, more than 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state of Palestine with the Arab-influenced eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital.