Israeli Border Police Officer Lightly Wounded in Shooting in Jerusalem's Old City

The suspect, an Arab Israeli from Haifa, was shot dead at the scene in second Jerusalem attack in 24 hours

Aaron Rabinowitz
Aaron Rabinowitz
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Israeli security and emergency personnel stand next to the body of a suspected assailant in Jerusalem's Old City, February 6,2020.
Israeli security and emergency personnel stand next to the body of a suspected assailant in Jerusalem's Old City, February 6, 2020.Credit: Emil Salman
Aaron Rabinowitz
Aaron Rabinowitz

An Israeli Border Police officer was lightly wounded in his hand in what the Israel Police described as an attempted shooting attack on Thursday.

According to a statement by police, the perpetrator, later identified as Shadi Bana, 45, approached a group of Border Police officers near Jerusalem's Lion's Gate and opened fire at them. The police fired back, shooting him dead at the scene.

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Bana was an Arab Israeli resident of Haifa who had recently converted to Islam from Christianity and had a criminal record.

The police added that there will be security reinforcement during the Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Bana's brother told Haaretz that the family was in complete shock and that the suspect had no ties to any kind of nationalism, "and we still can't believe it."

He owned of a small flower shop and was barely making income, the brother said. "We don't know about this whole business of him converting to Islam," he added. "He has more than a few Muslim friends but I don't know if he converted – his entire conduct is strange and he mostly lived as a loner."

Police raided Bana's flower shop on Thursday following the shooting.

Rashid Ibrahim, who works next to the shop, said: "He was originally from Nazareth, he was a Christian. In the past three months they said he had converted to Islam. We still didn't understand what happened to him, and that's what happened. Everyone is in shock."

Shuli, a woman who worked near the home of the shooter said that he was very isolated and "we would hardly ever see him." One of his neighbors said that "he was an ordinary guy from the neighborhood. He has no interest in politics. It's really surprising that he came to do such a thing."

Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties, issued a statement on Thursday, in which he “strongly condemns the shooting."

"A citizen of Israel should never use a weapon,” Odeh said, adding that “Arab citizens have chosen the path of a civil, democratic and just struggle to end the occupation and for peace and equality.”

“We won’t accept any other way,” he said.

Earlier Thursday, 12 Israeli troops were wounded in a suspected car-ramming attack in central Jerusalem. One of the soldiers, aged 20, was evacuated to receive medical care at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center while in serious condition and unconscious.

The driver suspected of carrying out the attack fled the scene and is currently being sought by security forces near Beit Jala, where his car was found.

Two Palestinians were killed in a military operation in Jenin Wednesday overnight. Those killed were a teen and a Palestinian Authority policeman after clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces. According to an initial military investigation, the policeman did not pose a threat to Israeli soldiers.

A 17-year-old Palestinian was shot in the chest and died Wednesday in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The IDF announced on Thursday afternoon it was sending reinforcements to the West Bank.

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