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Doctors say gunman killed 5 near Jerusalem synagogue

Doctors say gunman killed 5 near Jerusalem synagogue

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s national rescue service Mada says a gunman killed five people and wounded three others in a shooting rampage near a synagogue in East Jerusalem Friday night. The gunman was shot and reportedly killed.

The medical service said the injured included a 70-year-old in critical condition.

The shooting comes a day after Israeli troops killed nine Palestinians in the deadliest West Bank raid in years.

Thursday’s raid on the flashpoint Jenin refugee camp descended into a gun battle that left at least nine Palestinians dead, while a 10th was killed in clashes elsewhere. Gaza militants then fired rockets and Israel carried out airstrikes overnight – but exchanges were limited, following a familiar pattern that allows both sides to respond without provoking a major flare-up.

The situation poses a challenge for US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ahead of his visit to the region on Sunday. He is likely to discuss the underlying causes of the conflict, which is continuing, the agenda of Israel’s new far-right government and the Palestinian Authority’s decision to halt security coordination with Israel in retaliation for the deadly attack.

John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said the Biden administration has engaged closely with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in recent days to “prevent further loss of civilian life and urge all sides to work together.” Here underlining the urgent need to “improve the security situation in the West Bank.

“We are certainly very concerned about the escalating cycle of violence in the West Bank as well as the rockets fired from Gaza,” Kirby said. “And of course, we condemn all acts that further escalate tensions.”

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