IDF soldier killed in Jerusalem attack
Israeli forces are searching for the terrorists who opened fire at the Shuafat checkpoint.
An Israel Defense Forces soldier was killed in a shooting attack on Saturday night at the Shuafat checkpoint in eastern Jerusalem.
A security guard was seriously injured and a third Israeli was lightly wounded in the act of terrorism.
The name of the deceased soldier, a female in her 20s, was not immediately released.
The Israel Police said in a statement that an assailant began shooting as he approached the crossing, while another opened fire from a passing vehicle.
Israeli forces launched a manhunt to apprehend the perpetrators.
“Significant forces are out, working day and night to defend the citizens of Israel,” said Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a statement, adding: “My heart is with the wounded and their families. Terror will not defeat us. We are strong, even on this difficult evening.”
Jerusalem Police Chief Doron Turjeman said that one suspect was caught while three others remained on the run, although “their identities are known.”
The driver turned himself in to police shortly after the incident, Turjeman added.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, which is affiliated with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
Meanwhile, Shuafat residents reportedly set off celebratory fireworks following the attack and distributed candy to children in the streets.
The incident comes amid heightened alert in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria over the Jewish holiday season, and on the backdrop of a months-long wave of Palestinian terror.
On Friday, Lapid held a security assessment ahead of the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which begins Sunday night. The heads of numerous security agencies participated in the meeting, during which they discussed the sensitive situation on the Temple Mount.
In an incident earlier Saturday in Jenin, IDF forces arresting a wanted terrorist became ensnared in a firefight in which two Palestinians were killed and at least 11 injured, according to the P.A. Ministry of Health.
“I am alarmed by the deteriorating security situation, including the rise in armed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” said the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, in a statement Saturday night.
He noted that since the beginning of the year, at least 100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli operations primarily in P.A.-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. Over the same period, 16 people have been killed inside Israel in terrorist attacks by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.
“I urge, and remain actively engaged with, Israeli and Palestinian authorities to restore calm and avoid further escalation,” Wennesland said.
For his part, far-right Otzma Yehudit political party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir expressed pessimism following the attack.
“Sadly, the [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz Intifada is already here—as attack follows attack without a serious Israeli response,” he said. “Gantz has exposed himself as a leftist, continuing a policy of capitulation towards the enemy while the Israel-haters rub their hands with glee. They see Gantz opening his hand (and home) to arch-terrorist (P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas) while tightening his fist against Jewish communities in Judea.
“The nation is tired of weak and feckless decision makers who undermine the safety of IDF soldiers and leave Israelis feeling like sitting ducks to terror,” Ben-Gvir concluded. PJC