Authorities say that the gunman accused of injuring eight people at the Western Wall has surrendered to police.
Israeli security forces have detained a suspected gunman who injured eight people near Jerusalem’s iconic Western Wall, the authorities said on Sunday. The police say that the suspect surrendered after an extensive manhunt.
The police said they confiscated a gun presumably used in the attack, which took place near the Western Wall – a sacred pilgrimage site for Jewish people. According to the agency, the suspect was brought in for questioning.
On Sunday morning, a shooting attack just outside of Jerusalem’s Old City that targeted a bus near King David’s Tomb injured at least eight people, with two heavily wounded and five slightly. Local media reported that a pregnant woman was one of the casualties. She was injured in her stomach. According to Jerusalem Post, the baby was delivered via emergency C-section. He is currently in stable condition.
According to police, the operation involved special forces and helicopters in order to detain the suspect.
According to reports, the alleged gunman waited until the bus arrived and opened fire on passengers as they boarded. He fled to one of the surrounding neighborhoods, according to reports.
Daniel Kanievsky, the bus driver, told the Times of Israel that panic erupted in the vehicle, saying he wanted to drive away, but could not because passengers were helping a woman in a wheelchair to get on the bus, and the wheelchair ramp blocked the doors from closing.
According to his office, the Israeli Prime Minister Yair lapid was briefly briefed about the attack. “The security forces… are working to get the despicable terrorist and will not stop until he is caught. Anyone who wishes us harm must know that civil liberties will be at stake.,” Lapid noted at the time, wishing a speedy recovery to all of the victims.
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for militarist Palestinian organization Hamas – which Israel has designated as a terrorist group – described the incident as “heroic.” He said the attack was “a natural response to the Occupation’s and Zionist settlers’ daily crimes against our people, our country, major Muslim and Christian sites.”
The shooting comes several days after Israel announced a ceasefire between its forces and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), effectively putting an end to ‘Operation Breaking Dawn’, which saw both sides exchange airstrikes and rocket attacks.
A military operation started with an Israeli strike in Gaza, which killed Taysir al Jabari, a top PIJ commander. Other attacks also targeted PIJ operatives. This triggered a retaliation by the PIJ which fired multiple rockets at Israel.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 44 people were killed in Gaza during the operation – including 15 children – while 360 civilians were wounded.