Two Israelis injured after 13-year-old opens fire in East Jerusalem

Incident comes day after another attacker killed seven people outside a synagogue in the city

Police officers guard the scene were two Israelis were wounded by a 13-year-old shooter. Photograph: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Two Israelis have been injured after a 13-year-old Palestinian opened fire in East Jerusalem on Saturday, officials said.

The incident in the Palestinian area of Silwan comes a day after another attacker killed seven people outside a synagogue in the deadliest attack in the city since 2008.

A father and son, aged 47 and 23, were hurt in Saturday’s shooting near the historic Old City, medics said.

They added that both victims were fully conscious and in moderate to serious condition in hospital.


As police rushed to the scene, two passersby with licensed weapons shot and overpowered the 13-year-old attacker, police said.

Officers confiscated his handgun and took the wounded teenager to a hospital.

Video footage showed police escorting a wounded teen, wearing nothing but underwear, away from the scene and on to a stretcher, his hands cuffed behind his back.

Authorities taped off the street, while emergency vehicles and security forces swarmed the area and helicopters whirled overhead.

Israeli police spokesman Dean Elsdunne said: “He waited to ambush civilians on the holy Sabbath day,” adding that the teenager opened fire on a group of five civilians.

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Security footage showed the victims to be observant Jews, wearing skullcaps and tzitzit, or knotted ritual tassels.

Saturday’s events – on the eve of US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s arrival in the region – raised the possibility of even greater conflagration in one of the bloodiest months in Israel and the occupied West Bank in several years.

On Friday, a Palestinian gunman killed at least seven people, including a 70-year-old woman, in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, an area captured by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move which was not internationally recognised.

The victims of that attack included 14-year-old Asher Natan; Eli Mizrahi (48) and his wife Natali (45). The fourth victim was 56-year-old Rafael Ben Eliyahu. Other names are to be officially identified.

The attacks pose a pivotal test for Israel’s new far-right government. Its firebrand minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has presented himself as an enforcer of law and order and grabbed headlines for his promises to take even stronger action against the Palestinians.

Israeli security forces and emergency service personnel gather at a cordoned-off area in the city amid increasing violence. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabali/AFP/Getty Images

Speaking to reporters at a hospital where victims were being treated, Mr Ben-Gvir said he wants homes of Palestinian attackers sealed off immediately as a punitive measure, lashing out at Israel’s attorney general for delaying his order.

He also called for demolishing dozens of Palestinian homes that Israel says were illegally built in East Jerusalem, granting more gun licenses to Israelis, and applying the death penalty on Palestinians convicted of killing Israelis.

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Overhauling the justice system in the country, including the attorney general’s, has been on the top agenda of the new government, which says judges have overwhelming powers.

The divisive issue helped fuel weekly protests by Israelis who say the sweeping proposed changes would weaken the supreme court and undermine democracy. – AP