Israel guarantees swift response to synagogue taking pictures

  • Shootings observe Israeli West Financial institution raid, Gaza strikes
  • Israel boosts West Financial institution forces
  • Abbas blames Israel for escalation

JERUSALEM, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Saturday a “robust, swift and exact” response to a lethal Palestinian taking pictures assault close to a synagogue on Jerusalem’s outskirts, as its army despatched extra troops into the occupied West Financial institution.

Seven folks have been killed in Friday’s assault and two others have been wounded in one other taking pictures within the metropolis on Saturday.

“We’re not in search of escalation, however we’re ready for any state of affairs,” Netanyahu mentioned as he convened his safety cupboard.

He later mentioned the safety cupboard determined to extend gun permits for licensed civilians to defend in opposition to avenue assaults. Earlier than the assembly, far-right Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir mentioned he would push for the transfer.

A 13-year-old Palestinian boy within the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan opened fireplace on Saturday at a gaggle of Israeli passers-by, wounding two, earlier than he was shot and wounded by one in all them, police mentioned.

The Israeli army mentioned a Palestinian noticed on the sting of a West Financial institution settlement and armed with a handgun was “neutralized.”

The Jerusalem assault on Friday adopted an Israeli raid on Thursday within the West Financial institution metropolis of Jenin that killed 9 Palestinians, together with seven gunmen, and cross-border fireplace on Friday between Israel and Gaza.

An Israeli army spokesperson mentioned an extra battalion had been despatched to the West Financial institution for reinforcement.

There was no signal, nonetheless, Israel was making ready for a large-scale operation, and its temporary cross-border trade with Gaza ended with no casualties.

On Monday U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is because of arrive for a two-day go to to Israel and the West Financial institution, the place clashes have worsened for months.

Thursday’s raid was the deadliest in years within the West Financial institution, the place Israel has stepped up operations since a spate of lethal Palestinian avenue assaults in its cities final 12 months.

At the very least 30 Palestinians – militants and civilians – have been killed within the West Financial institution because the begin of the month.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who heads the pro-settler Non secular Zionism celebration and like Ben-Gvir is in Netanyahu’s safety cupboard, mentioned he calls for Israeli settlement development plans within the West Financial institution pace up.

Netanyahu mentioned after the cupboard assembly that he had selected steps that will be introduced ahead this week “to strengthen settlements,” with out elaborating.

At a Jerusalem hospital treating casualties, Ben-Gvir mentioned extra gun permits have been justified. “I need weapons on the road. I need Israeli residents to have the ability to shield themselves,” he mentioned.


Friday’s assault exterior a synagogue was the deadliest within the Jerusalem space since 2008. It came about in a neighbourhood on land that Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it within the 1967 Center East struggle, in a transfer not recognised internationally.

The gunman, Khaire Alkam, was a 21-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem. Among the many lifeless was a 14-year-old boy, police mentioned. No group has claimed accountability for the taking pictures and Alkam’s father advised Reuters his son had no hyperlinks to militants.

Forty-two suspects, together with his members of the family, have been arrested, police mentioned. Netanyahu mentioned the cupboard had determined to pursue sanctions in opposition to households of attackers.

Police mentioned Alkam arrived at 8:15 p.m. and opened fireplace with a handgun, hitting a lot of folks earlier than he was killed by police.

The gunman was a relative of a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot lifeless on Wednesday in clashes with Israeli forces in a Jerusalem refugee camp, his household mentioned.

His father, Moussa Alkam, mentioned he didn’t know whether or not his son was in search of revenge. “He’s neither the primary nor the final younger man to get martyred and what he did is a supply of delight,” Alkam mentioned.

Shimon Israel, 56, who lives close to the assault web site, mentioned on Saturday his household was beginning their Sabbath dinner after they heard taking pictures and screaming. He opened the window and noticed his neighbour operating on the road to get the police.

“I advised him ‘Eli, do not go there. Eli do not go.’ He acquired married solely a 12 months in the past. A superb neighbour, like a brother. He ran. I noticed him fall there,” Israel advised Reuters.

“Natali, his spouse, ran after him. She noticed somebody right here and was making an attempt to resuscitate him. The terrorist got here and shot her from behind and acquired her too,” he mentioned.

In Tel Aviv, tens of hundreds of Israelis demonstrating in opposition to Netanyahu’s plans to overtake Israel’s judiciary, started the protest on Saturday with a minute of silence for the lifeless.


Friday’s taking pictures, on Worldwide Holocaust Remembrance Day, drew vast condemnation, together with by Washington, the United Nations and Israel’s Arab and Western allies.

A Ukrainian lady was among the many lifeless, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned in Kyiv.

Saudi Arabia, which doesn’t have formal ties with Israel, condemned the focusing on of civilians and an escalation in violence have to be halted.

Lebanon’s Iran-backed group Hezbollah praised the assault, as did Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made no point out of the assault in a press release printed by the official Palestinian information company WAFA, and blamed Israel for the escalation in violence.

Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which has restricted governing powers within the West Financial institution, suspended safety cooperation preparations with Israel after Thursday’s Jenin raid.

Further reporting by Ammar Awad and Eli Berlzon in Jerusalem; Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Writing by Dominic Evans and Maayan Lubell;
Modifying by Frances Kerry, Raissa Kasolowsky and Cynthia Osterman

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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