ISRAEL: At least eight people have been injured after a gunman opened fire on a bus near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. As the pilgrims were leaving the holy spot after praying, the assailant started shooting. Two people, one of whom is pregnant, are in a critical state.
The shooter reportedly escaped but later surrendered. Western Wall is one of Jerusalem’s holiest locations. Every year, thousands of people go there to pray.
The gunman allegedly targeted a bus near King David’s Tomb and a parking lot close to the Western Wall, according to Israeli emergency services.
At the time of the incident, the bus’s driver, Daniel Kanievsky, told regional media that it was fully loaded.
“The shooting began after we opened the ramp for a wheelchair user. Everyone collapsed to the ground and screamed. I attempted to get off the bus, but it was impossible with the ramp open,” he explained.
The tragic incident
Worshippers had been temporarily blocked from leaving the Western Wall compound, according to local media and video posted on social media that showed heavily armed police at the scene.
The expectant mother was shot in the abdomen. Her infant is said to be in a serious but stable condition after an emergency Caesarean operation.
A man who was shot in the head and neck is still in critical condition.
Four of the injured, according to media accounts, were members of the same family travelling to Israel from New York.
According to reports, the shooter lives in East Jerusalem and is a Palestinian.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid promised that those responsible for the incident will “pay a price for any harm to our residents” in a statement.
The assault occurs one week after 47 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip over the course of three days as a result of Israeli troops targeting PIJ officials and militants fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel.
The armed organisation claims to have lost 12 fighters.
The other people, including at least 17 children, were civilians, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
According to Israeli government officials, PIJ rockets that couldn’t reach Gaza killed numerous civilians. They have vowed to look into any civilian fatalities brought on by Israeli fire.
The majority of the PIJ missiles that struck Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system were intercepted, although a few Israelis suffered minor injuries as a result.