Jerusalem Shooting Kills at Least 3 People, Israeli Officials Say


At least three people were killed and six others wounded when two Palestinian gunmen affiliated with Hamas opened fire near a bus stop on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Thursday morning, according to the Israeli authorities.

Israel has been on high alert since the Hamas-led attacks last month. The shooting on Thursday was the deadliest to hit the capital since Israel launched a retaliatory war against Hamas in Gaza, and came just as a fragile truce between the two sides was extended.

Israel’s Shin Bet security service said that the gunmen were Palestinian brothers from East Jerusalem who were affiliated with Hamas, the armed group that controls most of Gaza, and that both had been jailed for what it called “terrorist activity.” In a statement, it identified them as Murad Nimr, 38, and Ibrahim Nimr, 30.

Hamas said the men were members of its armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. In a statement on the Telegram messaging app, Hamas — which the United States and many other nations classify as a terrorist group — called the attack “a natural response” to Israel’s “brutal massacres” in Gaza.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Tel Aviv on Thursday as part of a diplomatic push by the Biden administration to extend the truce in Gaza. He said the attack was a reminder “of the threat from terrorism that Israel and Israelis face every single day.”

“My heart goes out to the victims of this attack,” Mr. Blinken said, adding, “We’re thinking of them, we’re thinking of their families, their loved ones, and we mourn their loss.

Benny Gantz, an Israeli politician and member of the country’s wartime emergency government, said the deadly shooting only strengthened Israel’s resolve “to continue the fighting with might and determination against the murderous terrorism which threatens our citizens.”

Israel responded to the Hamas-led on Oct. 7 attacks with a bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza that has killed more than 13,000 people in the enclave, according to the Gazan health ministry estimates.

It also has clamped down on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, carrying out near-nightly raids. More than 220 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since Oct. 7., according to Palestinian health officials, and the Israeli military said over 2,000 have been arrested.

Jerusalem suffered spates of stabbings and shootings even before this war, and there had been concerns that the city could see a uptick in attacks during the war in Gaza. While there have been a few violent episodes — an Israeli police officer was killed in a stabbing attack near the Old City in early November — the city has remained relatively quiet.

On Thursday, the Israeli police said in a statement that two off-duty soldiers and an armed civilian killed the gunmen at the bus stop.

Two of the wounded were suffering from gunshot wounds and undergoing surgery at the Hadassah Medical Center, said Prof. Miklosh Bala, who directs the hospital’s trauma ward. The Shaare Zedek Medical center in Jerusalem said it was treating four of the wounded, three of whom were in serious condition.

Shaare Zedek identified two of the dead as Hana Ifergan, 60, and Elimelech Wasserman, 73. Mr. Wasserman, a rabbi and retired judge in Israel’s religious courts, was mourned by one of Israel’s chief rabbis, David Lau, who said in a statement he had “dedicated his life to those in court with great devotion.”

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