A 13-year-old Palestinian boy and 41 others have been arrested by Israeli authorities for allegedly being behind a shooting in East Jerusalem Saturday, January 28, that injured two people, a day after an attack that killed seven.
A father and son were seriously wounded in the attack, while the teenage suspect was shot and injured by passersby, and is currently in custody in a hospital.
Saturday’s shooting in the Silwan neighborhood just outside Jerusalem’s Old City came after seven people were killed at a shooting at a synagogue on Friday. At least three were injured in that shooting, and authorities took 42 people into custody in connection with the attack.
“This is a significant rise in the level of terror,” said Dean Elsdunne, a spokesman for the Israeli police, adding that the “terrorist” is being treated in the hospital.
In Friday’s shooting, Israeli worshipers had gathered for Friday prayers at a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood when a gunman began firing as they were leaving the temple. Police authorities shot the gunman dead.
Tensions have been rising since Israeli troops killed nine Palestinians — both militants and civilians — in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Thursday. The attack was followed by rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, according to reports.
In response to the two attacks, authorities have positioned officers from a counter-terrorism unit “permanently” in the Jerusalem area to “promptly respond to exceptional events whenever necessary”.
Speaking at the scene of the attack on Friday, Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai called it “one of the worst attacks we have encountered in recent years”.
The synagogue shooting happened on Holocaust Memorial Day, which commemorates the six million Jews and other victims who were killed in the Holocaust by the Nazi regime in Germany.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly wrote on Twitter: “To attack worshippers at a synagogue on Holocaust Memorial Day, and during Shabbat, is horrific. We stand with our Israeli friends,”
US President Joe Biden talked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered all “appropriate means of support”, the White House said.
Shortly after the incident, Mr Netanyahu visited the site, as did the controversial far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir.