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7 dead in an armed attack on a Jewish synagogue in East Jerusalem

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Seven people were killed in an armed attack in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, police said.

Police said several people were wounded in the attack on a synagogue. Rescue services said some of those were in critical condition.

Police said the attacker was “neutralised”.

Police initially put the death toll at eight. Police said on Twitter that several people were injured.

Police said the attacker went to a synagogue in the illegal settlement of Neve Yaakov around 8:30 pm (6:30 pm GMT) and opened fire.

The security situation in Israel and Palestine has deteriorated sharply in the past few days.

A spokesman for Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said Friday’s attack was in retaliation for an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on Thursday.

Nine Palestinians were killed, including an elderly woman, and 20 others were wounded in an Israeli raid on the city of Jenin.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health accused Israeli forces of deliberately firing tear gas inside the children’s ward of the hospital, causing the children to suffocate – a claim denied by an IDF spokesperson, adding that the gas may have drifted into the clinic through a window.

The deadliest day in the West Bank in years erupted during a raid on a crowded refugee camp in the northern city of Jenin, with gunshots flying in the streets and smoke billowing from flaming street barricades.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that the death toll from the clashes rose to “nine martyrs,” including a woman, and 20 people were wounded, before the occupation forces withdrew in the middle of the morning.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem told Reuters: “This operation is a response to the crime committed by the occupation in Jenin and a natural response to the criminal actions of the occupation,” although he declined to announce the attack.

The world condemns the attack

The United States quickly condemned the attack.

“This is absolutely appalling,” foreign ministry spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

“We condemn this apparent terrorist attack in the strongest terms. Our commitment to Israel’s security remains firm, and we are in direct contact with our Israeli partners.”

“We stand in solidarity with the Israeli people,” he said.

Patel told reporters at a news conference that US officials are in contact with their Israeli counterparts and that he does not expect changes in Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel next week.

US President Joe Biden has directed his national security team to provide support to their Israeli counterparts.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack,” said the Spokesman for the Secretary-General. “It is particularly abhorrent that the attack took place in a place of worship, and on the same day we are observing International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

But he urged both sides to exercise “maximum restraint”. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that Guterres was “extremely concerned” by the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Emirates News Agency (WAM), quoting a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that the UAE also condemned the synagogue attack that took place on Friday on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also condemned the attack. “The attack on worshipers in a synagogue on Holocaust Remembrance Day and during Shabbat is appalling. We stand with our Israeli friends,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

Al-Turki also condemned the attack and called on all parties to take steps to prevent further violence.

immediate measures

The escalation in violence comes a month after a new government led by veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took power.

Netanyahu and far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the scene on Friday, as crowds chanted “Death to the Arabs,” according to AFP journalists at the scene.

Speaking on television after visiting the scene, Netanyahu said his security cabinet would soon announce “immediate measures” in response, and urged Israelis not to “take the law into their own hands”.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who was on a family visit to the United States, cut short his trip and returned to Israel, according to what his office reported to AFP.

“The attack on civilians Friday night was appalling,” Gallant said in a statement, vowing to “act decisively and forcefully against terrorism and will reach out to anyone involved in the attack.”

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