Palestinian attacker shot dead by officers near entrance to Temple Mount; Hamas hails ‘heroic operation’; incident comes days after stabbing nearby; PM warns of ‘copycat attacks’
A Hamas gunman opened fire in the alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning, killing one Israeli man and wounding four others, two of them seriously, Israeli officials said.
Police officers at the scene opened fire at the terrorist, a 42-year-old Palestinian man from East Jerusalem, and killed him, according to police.
The fatality was named as Eliyahu David Kay, 26, a recent immigrant from South Africa who worked as a guide at the Western Wall and resided in the central city of Modiin.
He was the first Israeli civilian to be killed by Palestinian violence in over six months, since May’s 11-day conflict with terror groups in the Gaza Strip, which killed 12 civilians in Israel.
Hamas hailed the attack, calling it a “heroic operation,” and identified the terrorist as a member of the organization, Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, a Hamas leader in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where he lived.
According to police, Abu Shkhaydam entered the Old City armed with a Beretta M12 submachine gun and opened fire at three Israeli men who were walking through the area, near the Chain Gate entrance to the Temple Mount, fatally wounding one of them and seriously injuring the other two.
Two female police officers rushed to the scene from one side of the alleyway, opening fire at Shkaydam. Shortly thereafter, two male officers ran in to assist them.
“[The gunman] moved through the alleys and fired quite a bit. Luckily, the alley was mostly empty because otherwise — heaven forbid — there would have been more casualties. The entire incident lasted 32 or 36 seconds. The actions of the female officers was — operationally — at the highest possible level,” Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said at the scene of the attack.Advertisement
Kay was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was pronounced dead. One of the severely injured victims, a rabbi, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where his condition stabilized somewhat after emergency surgery, doctors said. Another man sustained moderate-to-severe injuries — from gunshots and from shrapnel — and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.