JERUSALEM — A Palestinian teacher disguised as an ultra-Orthodox Jew gunned down dead an Israeli guide with a vending machine gun in the neighbourhood the holiest place in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, Israeli officials said. It was the first killing of a Jewish-Israeli civilian by a Palestinian gunman since May.
The militant Islamist group Hamas said the gunman was a… senior member of his movement in East Jerusalem.
The attack immediately revived calls from right-wing Israelis for install metal detectors at the entrances to the holy site – known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Shrine of the Aqsa mosque complex – a proposal that set off deadly unrest among the Palestinians when Israel last tried to execute the idea in 2017. Such a plan would also risk escalating tensions within the fragile Israeli government coalition, a diverse alliance including Jewish right-wing parties and an Arab group.
tensions over the website, die is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, played an important role in the prelude to an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas this year.
the shooter in the attack on Sunday open fire on at least three burgers and two police officers shortly after 9:00 a.m in an alley outside the website. A civilian was killed by a shot at the head, An second civilian was slightly injured and two police officers and a third civilian were slightly injured, according to Magen David Adom, the Israeli branch of the International Red Cross.
The murdered man was later named by the police as Eliyahu Kay, a tour guide who used to be on to be way until work at the Western Wall, the last leftover part of An ancient jewish temple that was destroyed in antiquity.
The attacker was wearing the clothes of an ultra-Orthodox Jew and was shot dead by security agents seconds after the attack, according to Omer Bar Lev, an Israeli minister who supervises the police.
The shooter was named in the Israeli and Palestinian news media as Fadi Abu Shkhaydem, 42, a teacher from a Palestinian district in East Jerusalem. In a statement published by a television channel die owned by Hamas, he was identified as a senior leader of the movement in Shuafat, and area of East Jerusalem, home to mostly Palestinians whose families were displaced during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948.
In the statement, Hamas stated – die runs the Gaza Strip and is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Israel and others countries — praised the attacker and acknowledged his role within the movement, but not directly claim responsibility for the attack.
Political violence is common in the old town of Jerusalem, captured by Israel from Jordan during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and later annexed. Police officers killed second Palestinian attacker in the old town this past week after a separate attack and shot dead two others in failed attempts in September.
Palestinians consider Old City occupied and hope it will be part of it of the capital of An future Palestinian state.
The attack on Sunday was relatively unusual as it involved a gun and because such attacks are rare result in the death of an Israeli citizen. Other recent attempts in the ancient city saw attackers wielding knives and targeting security officials, but the attackers were shot dead by the police before they can kill anyone.
In a statement, Mr Bar Lev said the attacker’s wife… left for a foreign land three days ago, implying a degree of foresight on the attack.
After the killing, An second government minister, Yoaz Hendel, called for the installation of metal detectors outside the Aqsa compound, a move originally proposed by Israel in 2017 but then demolished set off violence that left multiple people dead.
For Jews, the Temple Mount is considered the most sacred place in Judaism because it once was the location of two temples where according to tradition God’s presence was revealed. For Palestinians, the Noble Sanctuary is seen as central in their national identity because in Islamic tradition, it is where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
AN visit the site in 2000 by Ariel Sharon, when the leader of the Israeli opposition who An year later became prime minister, is seen as one of the main sparks of the second Palestinian intifada, of revolt.
Since 1967, Israel has had the Jordanian government administrative supervision of the site, and nominally allows Jews only to visit the compound, not pray there. But Israel also maintains overall safety oversight and controls access. The Israeli police recently started met gently allow Jewish prayer on the site and often robbed it during times of unrest. Several Israeli raids last April and May formed the background until another 11-day war between Israel and militants in Gaza Strip.
Major flare-ups in Gaza has been turned away since May as the two sides are conducting indirect negotiations to stabilize the ceasefire.fire. But low-level violence has increased dramatically in the occupied West Bank. According to data prepared by the United Nations, 76 Palestinians have been killed so far year during protests, clashes and raids in the West Bank — higher then in each year since 2016. Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in being the West Bank also on a five-year high, according to United Nations data.
At least 12 Israelis have been killed in the West Bank in 2021, higher then in or 2019 of 2020, but lower than in 2017 of 2018.
Irit Pazner Garshowitzcontributed research.
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