Edited By: Pritha Mallick
Last Updated: January 28, 2023, 18:20 IST
Israeli forces work near the scene of a shooting attack in Neve Yaacov which lies on occupied land that Israel annexed to Jerusalem after the 1967 Middle East war January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
India extended heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in a mass shooting on the outskirts of Jerusalem by a Palestinian gunman
India on Saturday strongly condemned the terror attack in a synagogue in East Jerusalem that claimed the lives of seven people.
“We strongly condemn last night’s terror attack in Jerusalem,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet. “We extend heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish the injured a speedy recovery,” he added.
Twenty-one-year-old Khairi Alqam, a Palestinian, carried out the mass shooting at the synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighbourhood on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The resident of East Jerusalem opened fire during the Jewish Sabbath, killing seven people.
Police later killed the gunman during a shootout that followed a brief car chase after the attack.
The Jerusalem District Police and border police fighters arrested 42 suspects, including the gunman’s immediate family, relatives and neighbours. “The police will thoroughly examine the connection between each of the arrested suspects and the terrorist who carried out the attack, as well as the extent of their knowledge and/or involvement,” a police statement read.
Israel’s police chief Kobi Shabtai called the synagogue shooting “one of the worst attacks (Israel) has encountered in recent years.”
The shooting occurred as tensions rose across the region following the deadliest army raids in the occupied West Bank in roughly two decades, killing nine Palestinians, including seven gunmen and retaliatory air strikes between Israel and Gaza on Thursday.
Following the killings, Palestinians held spontaneous rallies to celebrate in Gaza and across the West Bank, including in Ramallah, where large crowds swarmed the streets chanting and waving Palestinian flags.
Several Arab nations with ties with Israel, including Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, condemned Friday night’s shooting. US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered support to Israel’s government and people following the attack.
Israel annexed east Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War. Palestinians claim the area as the capital of their future state.
After the synagogue shooting, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the attack proved “the resistance knows how to find the appropriate response” to Israeli “crimes”. The smaller militant group Islamic Jihad also praised the attack without claiming responsibility.
Another Shooting on Saturday
Another shooting attack was reported in East Jerusalem on Saturday. Police said a 13-year-old boy from East Jerusalem opened fire and wounded two people before he was shot and wounded by passers-by.
A father, 47, and his 23-year-old son sustained gunshot wounds to their upper bodies and were rushed to hospital, police and medics said.
That incident occurred around Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem that lies below the Old City walls and where Israeli settlers have stepped up their presence over the past few years.
(With inputs from agencies)
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