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

10:00 Oct 9 2016 Ammunition Hill Light Rail Station, near Sheikh Jarrah

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

Misbah Abu Sbeih. Published by IMEMC News

Scene: Published by Maan News

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.

by Nir Hasson, Ido Efrati and Jack Khoury for Haaretz
Oct 09, 2016 3:29 PM

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.

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.

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

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.

by IMEMC News

Israeli sources have reported, Sunday, that two Israelis were killed, and six others were wounded, in a drive-by shooting near the Light-Rail stop, close to the Police headquarters, in Jerusalem, and that the Palestinian, who carried out the shooting attack, was killed after a short pursuit.

Israeli online daily Haaretz has reported that the Palestinian carried a drive-by shooting at the Ammunition Hill light rail stop, close to the main National Headquarters of the Jerusalem Police, and added that the Palestinian was killed after a short pursuit, after he wounded several persons.

Haaretz added that two of the wounded Israelis, a police officer, 30, and a 60-year-old woman, later succumbed to their wounds.

They have been identified as First Sgt. Yosef Kirme, 30, and a woman, identified as Levanah Malichi, 60.

Two of the wounded Israelis, who were injured in the initial attack, suffered severe and moderate wounds, while a third also suffered a moderate wound shortly afterwards.

The shooter fled to Sheikh Jarrah, in Jerusalem, and shot two police officers, critically wounding one and moderately injuring the other, while three Israelis were hurt by “shrapnel and shock,” Haaretz said.

The Palestinian has been identified as Misbah Abu Sbeih, 39, from Silwan town, in Jerusalem. The names of the Israelis who were killed in the attack have not yet been released.

The Maan Palestinian News Agency said one of its reporters interviewed Abu Sbeih, Saturday, a day before he was supposed to turn himself in to the police to serve a four-month prison sentence, after he was convicted of “assaulting a police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City.” He was also denied from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque, or its vicinity, for six months.

After killing him, the Israeli army stormed his home and kidnapped his three children, before taking them to an interrogation center.

Palestinian gunman shot dead after killing 2, injuring several in Jerusalem attack

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli police officer and an Israeli woman were shot dead and at least five others were injured in a drive-by shooting near the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah Sunday morning. The gunman, a native of occupied East Jerusalem, was shot and killed by Israeli police at the scene.

The shooting attack came a day after the gunman told Ma'an that he intended to turn himself in to serve a prison sentence, after he was charged with assaulting an Israeli police officer in 2013.

According to a statement by Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri, the gunman first opened fire across from the regional Israeli police headquarters while he sped towards the Ammunition Hill light rail station, critically injuring a 60-year-old woman, identified by Israeli media as Levanah Malichi, who later succumbed to her injuries after receiving treatment in a hospital. A man was also moderately injured at the same site.

The gunman then continued toward a junction on the other side of the police station, where he opened fire at a woman driving in her car, moderately to seriously injuring her, al-Samri added.

The assailant then fled toward Sheikh Jarrah as Israeli police special forces chased him, and he opened fire at them, critically injuring one policeman and lightly injuring another. The critically injured policeman, identified in Israeli media as First Sergeant Yosef Kirme, succumbed to his wounds in the hospital later in the day. Border police officers then arrived to the scene, shooting and killing the assailant.

Israeli media also reported that three other victims were moderately wounded, while a further three were lightly wounded by shrapnel or suffered from shock. According to Hebrew-language news site Walla, one of the injured was a 63-year-old Palestinian man from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

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

Al-Samri said the slain gunman was a 39-year-old from the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied east Jerusalem.

She later announced that Israeli authorities issued a 30-day gag order for Israeli media on all further details of the shooting, including the name of the slain gunman and the names of the victims. In spite of the gag order, which doesn't affect Palestinian media, local sources in Jerusalem identified the shooter as 39-year-old Misbah Abu Sbeih from Silwan.

A day prior to the shooting, Abu Sbeih told Ma'an in an interview that he was planning on turning himself in to the Israeli Ramla prison at 10 a.m. on Sunday, to serve a prison sentence.

According to Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, Abu Sbeih held an Israeli identity card.

Erdan told reporters in Jerusalem after the incident that there had no been a specific terror warning issued for Jerusalem prior to the shooting, though Israeli police had already increased their presence across the city in preparation for the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah last week and Yom Kippur, which begins on Tuesday.

Tensions around occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound were a main contributor to a wave of unrest that began last October, after right-wing Israelis made frequent visits to the site during the Jewish holiday season this time last year.

The 39-year-old gunman was the 232nd Palestinian to be killed by Israelis amid the violence, while 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians. The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons.

However, a number of attempted and actual shooting attacks have targeted Israelis over the past year. A total of 17 Palestinians have been killed while committing shooting attacks, while 16 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian gunmen.
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