Palestinian gunman opens fire in East Jerusalem, injuring two Israelis

Incident comes after weeks of violence as Jewish Passover holiday and holy month of Ramadan overlapped

Israeli security forces search for suspects after a shooting in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem on Tuesday. AP
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A Palestinian gunman fired shots at a vehicle in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem on Tuesday, wounding two people, Israeli emergency services said.

The two Israeli men were treated for gunshot wounds, Israeli media reported.

The police are searching for the suspected attacker who fled on foot.

“Police and Border Police officers are at the scene, conducting searches for the suspect who fled the scene,” a police said in a statement.

Israeli security forces closed off streets in the neighbourhood, where an AFP journalist said officers entered a Palestinian home. A drone, helicopter and police dogs were used in the search.

Officers enforcing the shutdown prevented cars and people from moving in the centre of the neighbourhood, as heavily armed forces searched the area.

Police announced they had found the suspect's gun near the scene of the attack, which took place near the tomb of Simeon the Just ― Shimon Hatzadik in Hebrew ― a site frequented by religious Jews.

The weapon was identified as a Carlo makeshift submachine gun, which Palestinians manufacture in the West Bank.

Hadassah Hospital said they received a 48-year-old gunshot victim in moderate condition, and Shaare Zedek medical centre said it was treating a man in his 50s, also moderately wounded.

Sheikh Jarrah was the focal point of protests against the eviction of Palestinian residents by Israeli settler organisations in the build-up to and during the May 2021 war between Israel and Gaza militants.

Tuesday's incident occurred after weeks of violence that escalated during an overlap of the Jewish Passover holiday and Ramadan.

Tensions in the occupied West Bank soared after Israeli police broke into Al Aqsa compound, home to Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

Israeli police then ejected Palestinians who had locked themselves into a prayer hall. Video footage of heavily armed police beating Palestinians caused outrage in the Arab world.

The raids triggered rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, southern Lebanon and Syria, to which Israel then responded with air and artillery raids.

At least 92 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks to date this year, at least half of whom were affiliated with militant groups, according to an AP tally. Palestinian attacks against Israelis have killed at least 20.

Updated: April 18, 2023, 9:40 AM