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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Jerusalem Highway Attack: One Dead, Eight Injured in Shooting Spree

Three terrorists staged a shooting spree near Jerusalem, killing one and injuring eight, using assault rifles and grenades before being stopped by security forces and civilians.

Three terrorists staged a shooting spree to the north of Jerusalem on Thursday, killing one man and injuring eight other people near a highway checkpoint during a traffic jam, Israeli authorities have said.

Two of the gunmen were killed at the scene by security forces and armed civilians, police said. The third has been detained, according to the Times of Israel, but his condition is unclear.

The man who was killed was in his 20s, local media cited medics as saying. The Magen David Adom Ambulance service has said it treated 12 people, including a woman aged 23, who is in serious condition, four others whose condition is moderate, and another five with minor injuries and acute anxiety.

Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, has identified the terrorists as brothers Muhammad Zawahra, 26 and Kathem Zawahra, 31 – both residents of the village of Ta’amra near Bethlehem in the West Bank. The third attacker was identified as Ahmed Al-Wahsh, 31, also a resident of the Bethlehem area.

Shin Bet noted that one of the Zawahra brothers had previously been jailed for illegally entering Israel.

Police have reported that the three attackers, who opened fire on civilians waiting in traffic just a few hundred meters from a checkpoint, were armed with assault rifles, makeshift submachine guns and a grenade.

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Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has visited the scene of the incident, and thanked the security forces as well as the armed civilians for stopping the attackers and preventing a more serious disaster.

“We’re distributing more and more guns. I think that today, everyone understands that guns save lives,” he was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel, adding that he also expects more checkpoints to be installed on roads connecting Jerusalem to Palestine.

“Our enemies do not look for excuses, our enemies just want to harm us,” he added.

Meanwhile, Guy Yifrah, the mayor of Ma’ale Adumim – an Israeli settlement in the West Bank whose residents often have to travel through the checkpoint – has called on the government to “immediately” construct a new road to “stop the shared travel of Ma’ale Adumim residents with Palestinian vehicles” and install two additional checkpoints.

”Driving with Palestinians on Route 1 is a ticking time bomb,” he said, demanding that Palestinians not be allowed to enter Jerusalem without inspection.

Last week, another shooting took place at a bus station at the Re’em Junction in southern Israel, in which a lone gunman killed two civilians and injured another four before being neutralized by an off-duty IDF officer.