By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Israel was on edge late Sunday after a suspected Palestinian militant opened fire in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing one Israeli man and injuring at least four others, including a rabbi.
The gunman, who officials identified as a 42-year-old member of the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, was shot dead by Israeli security forces, Worthy News monitored.
The man killed by the shooter was named Eliyahu David Kay.
Local media said the 26-year-old Kay was a recent immigrant from South Africa who worked as a guide at the Western Wall and resided in the central city of Modiin.
He was the first Israeli civilian to be killed by Palestinian violence in over six months since May’s 11-day conflict with terror groups in the Gaza Strip, killing 12 civilians in Israel.
Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, praised the attack, calling it a “heroic operation.”
The group identified the gunman as its member Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, a Hamas leader in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where he lived.
Police told local media that Abu Shkhaydam entered the Old City armed with a Beretta M12 submachine gun.
He then opened fire at three Israeli men walking through the area near the Chain Gate entrance to the Temple Mount.
He fatally wounded one of them and seriously injured several others.
Two female police officers rushed to the scene from one side of the alleyway, opening fire at Shkaydam, reports said. Shortly after that, two male officers ran in to assist them.
“[The gunman] moved through the alleys and fired quite a bit. Luckily, the alley was mostly empty because otherwise — heaven forbid — there would have been more casualties,” said Public Security Minister Omer Barlev.
“The entire incident lasted 32 or 36 seconds. The actions of the female officers were — operationally — at the highest possible level,” he added, speaking at the scene.
Kay was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was pronounced dead.
One of the severely injured victims, a rabbi, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where his condition stabilized somewhat after emergency surgery, doctors said.
Another man sustained moderate-to-severe injuries — from gunshots and shrapnel — and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, The Times of Israel newspaper reported.
The three Israeli men who were shot in the attack were reportedly walking through the area as they left the nearby Western Wall, where they had been praying.
They were attacked while still wrapped in prayer shawls and wearing tefillin, said one of the victims, Rabbi Zeev Katzenelnbogen, speaking from his hospital bed.
Two police officers, aged 30 and 31, were lightly wounded in the exchange, likely by shrapnel, according to the Israel Police, Israeli media reported. They, too, were taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem for treatment.
Violent knife attacks are a regular occurrence in Jerusalem, but gun attacks of this type are rare, observers said.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he had asked security forces to be extra vigilant.
But Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the future capital of a hoped-for independent state, despite Israel’s opposition.
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