An Israeli police officer checks a bus following the pre-dawn shooting near Zion Gate on Sunday.—Reuters
An Israeli police officer checks a bus following the pre-dawn shooting near Zion Gate on Sunday.—Reuters

JERUSALEM: Israeli police Sunday arrested a suspect in a pre-dawn shooting spree targeting a bus just outside Jerusalem’s Old City that wounded eight people, including a pregnant woman and several US citizens.

“The terrorist is in our hands,” police spokesman Kan Eli Levy told Israeli public radio hours after the bloody attack not far from the Western Wall, the holiest prayer site for Jews.

Several American citizens were among the wounded, said the US embassy, which declared that “we are shocked and saddened by the terrorist attack” but gave no further details on the victims, citing privacy concerns.

In the renewed wave of violence that ended last Sunday after Egypt negotiated a truce, at least 49 Pale­stinians, including a num­ber of children, were killed.

‘Lone assailant’

Following an hours-long manhunt, police said a suspect had turned himself in. They also published a picture of the handgun he had allegedly used.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid told his cabinet meeting that “this is a lone assailant, a resident of the city with a criminal record”. He had earlier warned in a statement that “all those who seek us harm should know that they will pay a price for any harm to our civilians.”

‘Terror attack’

The gunman started spraying bullets at the public bus and people on the street in the attack at the Tomb of David bus stop near the Old City’s Zion Gate, recounted bus driver Daniel Kanievsky.

“I was coming from the Western Wall. The bus was full of passengers,” he told reporters in front of his bullet-riddled vehicle.

“I stopped at the station of the Tomb of David. At this mo­m­ent, the shooting star­ted. I saw two people outside falling, two inside were ble­eding. Everybody panicked.”

Israel’s emergency medical services, the Magen David Adom (MDA), called the incident a “terror attack in the Old City”.

“We were on the scene very quickly,” its medics said in a statement.

“On Ma’ale Hashalom Street we saw a passenger bus ... in the middle of the road. Bystanders called us to treat two males around 30 years old who were on the bus with gunshot wounds.” MDA spokesperson Zaki Heller initially said six men and one woman were wou­nded, with all seven “fully conscious”, before police raised the wounded toll to eight.

One of the wounded was a pregnant woman, whose baby was delivered by Caesarean section after the attack, a spokesman at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tsedek Hospital told AFP.

The Palestinian militant group, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, hailed a “heroic operation” without claiming responsibility for the attack. “Our people will continue to resist and fight the occupier by all means,” it said in a statement.Since March, 19 people — mostly Israeli civilians inside Israel — have been killed in attacks. Three Israeli Arab attackers were also killed.

In the aftermath of those attacks, Israeli security forces stepped up raids in the occupied West Bank. More than 50 Palestinians have been killed, including fighters and civilians, in operations and incidents in the West Bank since then.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

WITH Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah confirming the return of Ishaq Dar next week to ‘facilitate’ the PM in...
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...
Post-flood economy
Updated 24 Sep, 2022

Post-flood economy

WITH a third of the country — especially Sindh and Balochistan — under water, over 33m people displaced, and...
Panadol shortage
24 Sep, 2022

Panadol shortage

FROM headaches to fever to bodily pain — paracetamol is used ubiquitously in Pakistan as the go-to remedy for most...
Star-struck cops
24 Sep, 2022

Star-struck cops

IN this age of selfies and social media, it is easy to get carried away in the presence of famous people, even if ...