7 Israelis killed in front of a synagogue in Jerusalem

Seven people died Friday in a shootout outside an East Jerusalem synagogue and the attacker was killed, in the latest episode of a spiral of violence that broke out on Thursday after a deadly Israeli military operation in the occupied West Bank.

The attack, in a Jewish settlement neighborhood in the Jerusalem sector annexed by Israel, occurred a few hours after an Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in response to rocket fire from that Palestinian enclave. “Tonight around 8:30 p.m. [18H30 GMT]a terrorist approached a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Avenue in Jerusalem and opened fire on people in the area,” a police statement said.

“Police forces quickly arrived at the scene, confronted the terrorist” and he “was neutralized,” he added. A police spokesman said seven people were killed.

Magen David Adom (MDA, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) reported 10 people shot, including a 70-year-old and a 14-year-old. “I heard a real shooting,” said Matanel Almalem, an 18-year-old student who lives near the synagogue. The United States condemned a “horrendous” attack. “We stand in solidarity with the Israeli people,” said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel.

Shortly before, Washington had called on “all parties involved” in this “escalation of violence” to seek “urgently to defuse the crisis.”

Raid on Jenin

Nine people were killed last Thursday in an Israeli raid on the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp in the northern West Bank, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Another Palestinian was killed earlier that day by Israeli fire in a separate incident near Ramallah, also in the West Bank.

Israel claimed that it was a “counter-terrorism” operation against the armed organization Islamic Jihad. The Palestinian Authority called it a “massacre” and announced that it was ceasing security cooperation with Israel. According to the UN, there have not been as many deaths in an Israeli operation in the West Bank since records of those operations began in 2005.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Friday to “end the endless cycle of violence” and said he was “very concerned about the sharp increase in Palestinian deaths in Israeli operations in the occupied West Bank.”

The Palestinian Minister of Health, Mai Al Kaila, denounced that the Israeli forces, before withdrawing, “deliberately threw tear gas grenades” into the pediatric ward of a Jenin hospital, which “caused some children to suffocate.” ”.

“No one deliberately fired tear gas at a hospital (…), but the operation took place not far from a hospital and it is possible that tear gas entered through an open window,” an Israeli army spokesman told AFP.

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