Jerusalem attack: Israeli killed by Palestinian gunman in Old City

The attack comes days after police shot dead a Palestinian boy over an alleged stabbing attack

An Israeli tour guide was killed in Jerusalem on Sunday, before police shot dead the Palestinian gunman, in a rare fatal attack in the heart of the Old City.

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said security forces needed to be on alert for “copycat attacks” following the incident near Chain Gate, an entry to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.

Two civilians and two police officers were wounded in the incident, the force said.

Dozens of Israeli police officers gathered at the scene following the shooting, while emergency services and security forces removed the attacker’s body on a stretcher.

The Israeli victim, Eliyahu Kay, 26, was a guide working at the nearby Western Wall.

He emigrated from South Africa, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said.

Kay suffered a severe head injury and was transferred to Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Centre, where he was pronounced dead, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The wounded Israelis were treated for light or moderate injuries.

Police identified the attacker as a man “in his forties, a resident of East Jerusalem”, who was shot dead by officers.

Hamas, the militant group which rules Gaza, claimed the gunman as a leader of the movement.

They named him as Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shukheidim and praised his “heroic operation".

After initially cordoning off the area, police reopened the street to passersby and there was not a visibly heightened security presence in the Old City.

Mr Bennett said he was briefed by security officials following the shooting.

“I have directed the security forces to prepare accordingly and be alert, also over concern for copycat attacks. We need to be on heightened alert and prevent future attacks,” he said at the start of a weekly Cabinet meeting.

Sunday’s shooting was the first time since March 2018 that an Israeli has been killed by a Palestinian in the Old City, according to government records.

Since then there have been a number of non-fatal attacks, in which police officers have shot dead alleged assailants.

The most recent incident occurred on Wednesday, when security forces killed a Palestinian boy of 16.

He had stabbed two officers, who were lightly and moderately wounded, police said.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

As well as the Western Wall and Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, the Old City is also home to important Christian sites, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Updated: November 21st 2021, 4:26 PM
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