Suspect in deadly shooting at Jerusalem location identified as a Hamas member

A gunman opened fire on Israeli police and soldiers in Jerusalem on Friday before being shot dead by police, killing one person and wounding several others.

The Jerusalem District Police spokesman said one of the police officers who was part of a border police unit in east Jerusalem responded quickly to the security threat by opening fire and killed the assailant.

The gunman was carrying a firearm and was identified as a Hamas member. Police said they were looking for more details. It was not immediately clear whether the shooting took place in east Jerusalem or in Israeli-annexed settlements in the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, saying it “in no way will undermine our resistance to occupation.” He said the action was in breach of international resolutions.

The deadly shooting was the latest in a wave of violence that began in October 2015. Since then, 425 Palestinians and 64 Israelis have been killed.

The Palestinian death toll includes 193 who police identified as assailants. Israel has said the rest were killed during violent protests. Hamas calls for Israel’s destruction and supports Palestinian attacks on Israel.

In earlier attacks this week, a Palestinian in the West Bank stabbed two Israelis in a drive-by shooting and then was killed by other Palestinians near the West Bank city of Hebron.

Israel responded with massive air strikes against four buildings in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas stronghold. Israel said that the attack was carried out by a group of 16 Palestinians affiliated with the group who were firing rockets toward Israeli civilians.

Hamas militants have fired rockets at Israeli border communities during several rounds of violence this year. There have been no casualties.

Separately on Friday, Israel’s Justice Ministry said it had started a dialogue with the Western Wall Museum to open a museum next to the Western Wall of the Jewish faith in Jerusalem.

The museum, a prominent institution in Jerusalem’s Old City, is the secular successor to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray, though Israel has installed metal detectors and other security gates there after last month’s arrest of a Palestinian suspect accused of stabbing a US citizen to death outside the wall.

The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Israel captured that area during the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it to its capital. Both Israel and the US have not recognized the city’s eastern sector as the capital of the future Palestinian state.

(AP)

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