Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) arrives at the site of a reported attack in a settler neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, on January 27, 2023. / © Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP
A shooting at an east Jerusalem synagogue during Shabbat prayers killed 7 people on Friday. Hamas has praised the attack, the deadliest Israel has seen in years.
The incident happened in the city's Neve Yaakov neighbourhood at around 20:15 local time.
The perpetrator, described by police as a "terrorist," was reportedly shot and killed by security forces as he fled the scene. District police commander Doron Turgeman stated that the attacker was a resident of East Jerusalem.
The attack comes amid heightened tensions in the region following the death of nine Palestinians, both militants and civilians, in an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Thursday. That attack was followed by rocket fire into Israel from Gaza and Israel's subsequent air strikes.
Tensions have been additionally heightened as the new Israeli coalition government, an alliance of hard-line nationalists and ultraconservatives, has declared that the Jewish people have the exclusive right to the occupied territories in the region.
Seven people have been killed according to the police. Three others have been taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds.
Hamas have praised the attack, portraying it as a response to the Israeli raid on Thursday. Haaretz reported that Hamas has taken responsibility for the attack.
The United States has condemned the attack, with State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel saying, "We stand with the Israeli people in solidarity."
The attack has also been met with condemnation from other nations, including Australia and the United Kingdom, with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stating, "To attack worshippers at a synagogue on Holocaust Memorial Day, and during Shabbat, is horrific. We stand with our Israeli friends."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also condemned the attack.
"The Secretary-General strongly condemns today's terrorist attack," his spokesman said. "It is particularly abhorrent that the attack occurred at a place of worship, and on the very day we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day."
Germany's ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert has expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, calling the attack an "evil terrorist attack".