Seven people were injured, including two seriously, in a suspected terror attack just outside Jerusalem’s Old City in the early morning hours of Sunday, officials said.
According to Magen David Adom’s (MDA) ambulance service, shots were fired at a bus on a road near the Western Wall, as well as in a parking lot near King David’s Tomb, outside the Old City’s Zion Gate.
Six men were injured, along with a 35-year-old pregnant woman, according to Hebrew media reports.
The alleged perpetrator had reportedly waited for the bus to arrive and fired shots while passengers were boarding before fleeing.
“The bus was full, packed. I stopped at a bus stop at King David’s Tomb and then I heard gunshots, people started screaming, people were injured on the bus,” the bus driver, Daniel Kanievsky, told Hebrew media.
The driver said he wanted to drive away but couldn’t because passengers helped a wheelchair-bound woman board the bus, where the lowered ramp prevented the door from closing.
“I waited half an hour for the bus to come,” Ynet’s news site quoted eyewitness Avraham Deutsch as saying. “I heard three shots, I jumped into the bus and lay down with everyone. I immediately understood that it was a terror attack, and then there was a scream of terror. Everyone called the police. I saw two older people on the ground and two young people who had been injured in the shoulder.”
“It was a very difficult scene, the blood soaked tzitzit and abandoned pram will remain in my memory for many years to come,” said Moshe Levy of the United Hatzalah Emergency Organization, referring to knotted ritual fringes worn by observant Jews.
MDA said its medics treated two people who were seriously injured, as well as five others who were reported to be in mild and moderate conditions.
The victims have all been taken to hospitals in Jerusalem, MDA said. Shaare Zedek Medical Center said five people arrived after the incident, including two in serious condition, one in moderate condition and two with minor injuries. Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital said two people arrived with gunshot wounds and were being examined, and four people suffered acute anxiety after the shooting.
— חדשות (@kann_news) August 13, 2022
The alleged attackers reportedly fled the scene towards the nearby Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, with police saying they were treating the incident as a suspected terror attack.
“A large number of police forces have come to the scene and have begun to secure the area, investigate the matter and search for the suspect who has fled,” police said, adding that Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman was present at the scene. situation assessment.
Police closed off the area after the attack, briefly preventing worshipers from entering and exiting the Western Wall area.
According to Palestinian media reports, officers entered Silwan to search the area for the alleged gunmen.
The Palestinian terror group, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, was quick to praise the attack, calling it “heroic” and saying it was “a natural response to the daily crimes of the occupation against our people, our country and important Muslim and Christian sites.” .”
The incident came a week after a three-day intense round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iran-backed terror group also based in Gaza and considered tougher than Hamas. More than 1,000 rockets were fired at Israeli cities as Israeli forces launched airstrikes on PIJ targets in the Strip. Gaza authorities say 49 Palestinians have been killed, many of whom Israel says were killed by misfired PIJ missiles that landed in Gaza.