Jerusalem Attack: Two Killed, Six Wounded in Drive-by Shooting at Light Rail Stop

Shooter opened fire at Ammunition Hill light rail stop and fled to Sheikh Jarrah, where he was shot down by police. Public security minister accuses Facebook of 'direct responsibility' for allowing incitement, as Hamas lauds attack.

Israeli forces near the assailant's car in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, October 9, 2016.
Ronen Zvulun, Reuters

An East Jerusalem resident shot and killed a 60-year-old woman and a 30-year-old police officer on Sunday near the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The drive-by shootings spanned three sites. In addition, three victims were moderately wounded, while a further three were lightly wounded by shrapnel or suffered from shock. Police eventualy shot the assailant, identified as a 39-year-old resident of the Silwan neighborhood, at nearby Sheikh Jarrah. He succumbed to his wounds shortly thereafter.

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The shooting began at the Ammunition Hill light rail stop, where the woman who later died was critically wounded while a man was moderately wounded. Another victim was then shot and moderately wounded at the nearby Clermont-Ganneau Street intersection. The assailant then fled to Sheikh Jarrah, where two Israel Police officers were wounded, one critically and one moderately.

The two critically wounded victims who later succumbed to their wounds were later identified as 60-year-old Levanah Malichi and First Sgt. Yosef Kirme. His funeral will take place at 5:00 P.M. at Mt. Herzl on Sunday. Malichi's funeral will take place at 7:30 P.M. at Givat Shaul.

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Two of the wounded were treated at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, Mt. Scopus, including one moderately wounded and one lightly wounded by shrapnel.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan commented, "There were no specific warnings for such an event, but we have always said that because of the tension attacks by lone terrorists were likely." Erdan noted that the terrorist had a blue identity card as a permanent resident.

He attacked the social networks, saying, "Incitement is plentiful, and it drives people to commit terror attacks." He accused Facebook and internet companies of being "directly responsible for what's happening." He asserted, "It is scandalous that Facebook reopened Hamas' pages last week in the wake of pressure from the Palestinian street

The scene of a shooting attack in Jerusalem, October 9, 2016.
Olivier Fitoussi

Israel Police chief Roni Alsheich said following the attack that there is no need for people to change routine and urged the public to remain alert. Hamas praised the attack, calling it a "natural response to the crimes of the occupation."

The United States said it condemned the shooting spree. "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack that took place today in Jerusalem," U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. 

Ahead of the Jewish High Holy Days, Israeli security officials feared a surge of attacks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In accordance, the Israeli army increased its presence in the Hebron area, deploying an additional battalion in the sector.

The last terror attack in Jerusalem occurred on September 19 when two police officers were wounded, one seriously and one moderately, in a stabbing attack in the Old City. The alleged assailant was subdued, according to police.

A few days earlier, a Jordanian citizen was shot after allegedly trying to stab Israeli Border Police officers near Damascus Gate in the Old City.