Hamas gunman kills 1 and injures 4 in Old City

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian gunman killed one person and injured four others when he opened fire near the entrance to a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site, Israeli police said Sunday.

It was the second deadly incident in Jerusalem’s historic Old City in recent days.

The “shooting attack” left one Israeli civilian dead and injured two others, a police spokesperson said, adding that two officers were also lightly injured.

The gunman, 42, was shot dead by officers returning fire, the spokesperson said. They added that a knife was also found at the scene, along with the weapon he used to carry out the attack.

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Describing the attack as a “heroic operation,” the Hamas militant group said in a statement that the gunman was one of their members.

The incident took place near an entrance to a contested shrine known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. It is considered holy by both faiths.

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his support for the victims at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting and said he directed the country’s security forces to be on alert to prevent similar attacks.

Sunday’s incident was the second of its kind in Jerusalem’s historic Old City in recent days. On Wednesday, a Palestinian teen was fatally shot after stabbing two Israeli border police officers.

The officers were hospitalized and the teen, identified as a 16-year-old from east Jerusalem, was pronounced dead at the scene.

However, shootings around Jerusalem’s Old City and its holy sites are relatively rare, and Israel maintains a sizeable security presence in the area.

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

Israel captured east Jerusalem, including the Old City and its Christian, Muslim and Jewish holy sites, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move unrecognized by most of the international community.

The Palestinians seek the occupied West Bank and Gaza for a future independent state, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Lawahez Jabari reported from Jerusalem, Paul Goldman from Tel Aviv, Yuliya Talmazan from London.    

The Associated Press contributed.

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