Elad Benari, Canada
At least seven people were killed and several others were injured, including one critically, in a shooting attack on a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Jerusalem on Friday evening.
Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated five injured people to hospitals, including three who were evacuated to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, and two who were evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital. These include a man about 30 years old in critical condition and a woman about 60 years of age in moderate condition.
Initial reports indicate that a terrorist got out of a vehicle and opened fire at people who were gathered outside the synagogue. He then fled the scene in a white Toyota and was met by police officers who shot him dead.
The terrorist has been identified as Fadi Ayash, an Arab Israeli resident of the Shuafat neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem.
Scene of shooting attack in Neve YaakovOlivier Fitoussi/Flash 90
The Israel Police said, “Terror attack in a synagogue in Jerusalem: This evening at around 8:30pm local time, a terrorist arrived at a synagogue in the Neve Ya’akov boulevard in Jerusalem and proceeded to shoot at a number of people in the area.”
“Police forces quickly arrived at the scene, engaged with the terrorist and opened fire at him. The terrorist was neutralized. Seven innocent people were slaughtered and more were injured as result of the terror attack.”
Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai said, “This is a serious and complex attack with a large number of victims. We are currently conducting searches in the area to rule out the possibility that there are more people involved who are walking around freely. The terrorist was neutralized by a police officer and a volunteer of the Israel Police, which prevented a bigger attack.”
Superintendent Doron Turgeman, commander of the Jerusalem district of the Israel Police, provided an update at the scene.
In the wake of the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a security assessment this evening.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who was on a trip abroad, has cut short his trip and will return to Israel.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid commented on the attack and said, “A difficult and painful Erev Shabbat. The heart breaks when seeing the difficult sights. Terror in a synagogue, a criminal terrorist, a cold-blooded killer. I send my condolences to the families who lost their dearest and wish recovery to the injured. The security forces neutralized the terrorist and will lay hands on anyone who helped him.”
“Terrorism must not be allowed to rear its head, the terrorists and their senders must be dealt with harshly,” he added.
Labor chairwoman MK Merav Michaeli commented, “A difficult and cruel evening with the terrible attack in Jerusalem. The serious terrorism rears its head and murderously crushes Israeli families. My heart goes out to the victims and the families of the murdered.”
“This terrorism must be fought hard and without compromise,” she added.
(Israel National News’ North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)