Police on Sunday morning announced the arrest of the suspected terrorist who wounded seven people, including two seriously, in a shooting attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City overnight.
Following an hours-long manhunt, police said in a statement that the suspect turned himself in along with the gun apparently used in the shooting. A photo of the weapon released by police showed a pistol on the floor of a car.
The statement did not specify where the suspect turned himself in. Security forces had been carrying out searches in the Silwan neighborhood outside the Old City, where the suspect allegedly fled after firing on a bus and cars close to a parking lot near the Western Wall.
According to Hebrew media reports, the suspect is an East Jerusalem resident who took a cab to a police station where he turned himself in. He was identified as Amir Sidawi, 26. Reports said he had no previous security record, but had been jailed for five years for criminal offenses.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev hailed the arrest of the suspect.
“Israel will pursue those who seek its downfall anywhere and at any time, and will put its hands on them. They won’t have a moment of quiet,” Barlev said.
Those wounded in the attack included a 35-year-old pregnant woman who was shot while sitting in a nearby car, Hebrew media reported. Her abdomenal injury was described by doctors as “complex” and her life was said to be in danger. Shaare Zedek hospital said she had undergone an emergency delivery and that the newborn was in serious but stable condition.
Also among the injured were reportedly four members of a Satmar Hasidic family who came from the United States as tourists on Wednesday. The parents, son and daughter were waiting for a taxi at a bus stop when they were shot near King David’s Tomb. The family’s father was said to be in serious condition, sedated and on a respirator, while the mother was in moderate condition.
The alleged perpetrator had reportedly waited for the bus’s arrival and fired the shots while passengers were boarding, then fled on foot to Silwan.
Palestinian terror group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, was quick to praise the attack, branding it “heroic” and saying it was “a natural response to the occupation’s daily crimes against our people, our country and major Muslim and Christian sites.”
The incident happened a week after a three-day intense round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iran-backed terror group that is also based in Gaza and is considered more hardline than Hamas. Over 1,000 rockets were fired at Israeli cities, as the Israel Defense Forces conducted airstrikes aimed at PIJ targets in the Strip. Gazan authorities say 49 Palestinians were killed, many of whom Israel says were killed by misfired PIJ rockets that landed inside Gaza.
Since March, 19 people — mostly Israeli civilians inside Israel — have been killed in attacks, mostly by Palestinians. Three Arab Israeli attackers were also killed. PJC
AFP contributed to this report.