A police officer and a 60-year-old woman were murdered and five injured Sunday morning after an Arab terrorist committed a shooting near a police station next to the Ammunition Hill light rail station in Jerusalem.
According to a police report released shortly after the incident, the Arab terrorist, who had previously served five prison sentences for a variety of offense including aggravated battery, illicit military training and setting fire to vehicles, opened fire from within his vehicle on people standing by the station situated opposite police headquarters.
The terrorist—later identified as a 39 year old from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and a full Israeli citizen—then fled the scene, continuing his rampage as he shot two people sitting in their car.
He then proceeded in the direction of Tomb of Simeon the Just in Sheikh Jarrah where he stopped his vehicle and began shooting at riot police pursuing him on motorbikes. One of the officers, who was later identified as 1st Sgt. Yosef Karmia, was critically injured during the shootout and died from his wounds shortly thereafter. Another policeman was also lightly wounded in the fire exchange. Israel Border Police spotted the terrorist before shooting him dead.
Security forces began conducting searches for additional terrorists, setting up a number of roadblocks in the area.
Paramedics arrived on the scene where they treated multiple victims, one of whom was left in critical condition and one in serious condition. Another 3 were moderately wounded while two women sustained light injuries. An additional 3 victims were taken to hospital and treated for shock.
Among the victims was a 60-year-old woman, who was immediately evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center in critical condition and eventually succumbed to her wounds having been shot in her upper body.
Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan arrived at the scene and spoke with the press, telling them there was no forewarning for this attack. “But we have said the whole time that because of the increase in the amount of incitement many will plan lone-wolf attacks,” he added.
Erdan then went on to attribute responsibility for the attack to Facebook. “In my opinion, Facebook and other social media sites bear direct responsibility. It was two or three weeks ago that Facebook reopened Hamas’s pages following Palestinian public pressure. In my eyes, it’s scandalous.”
“I don’t necessarily draw a connection between this and the current attack,” the minister clarified.
It is not the first time that Erdan has espoused his vociferous opposition to the paucity of effective measures to counter rife online incitement.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said “Once again we are witness to cruel, merciless terror aimed at innocent civilians. (The terrorists) are trying to disrupt our lives and harm us. I wish all the wounded a speedy recovery.
“We will not bow. We will continue to live our lives, despite the uncompromising war on terror and wild incitement. I praise our security forces that acted immediately, got to the terrorist and neutralized him. I want to congratulate them for the holy work they perform year-round, especially during the holiday period,” Barkat said.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stated the attack was “a natural reaction to the continued crimes of the occupation against Palestinians and the al-Aqsa Mosque.” His organization did not take responsibility for the attack, however.