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A 13-year-old Palestinian opened fire in east Jerusalem on Saturday, wounding two Israelis, officials said, a day after another attacker killed seven outside a synagogue in the deadliest attack in the city since 2008. The shooting in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem, near the historic Old City, wounded a father and son, ages 47 and 23, paramedics said. Both were fully conscious and in moderate to serious condition in the hospital, the medics added.
Authorities taped off the street, emergency vehicles and security forces swarmed the area and helicopters whirled overhead.
Israeli police spokesman Dean Elsdunne said the teenager opened fire on a group of five civilians. Security footage showed the victims to be observant Jews, wearing skullcaps and tzitzit, or knotted ritual tassels.
He added: “He waited to ambush civilians on the holy Sabbath day.”
Saturday’s events – on the eve of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s arrival in the region – raised the possibility of even greater conflagration in one of the bloodiest months in Israel and the occupied West Bank in several years.
On Friday, a Palestinian gunman killed at least seven people, including a 70-year-old woman, in a Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem, an area captured by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move not internationally recognized.
The attacks pose pivotal test for Israel’s new far-right government. Its firebrand minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has presented himself as an enforcer of law and order and grabbed headlines for his promises to take even stronger action against the Palestinians.
The Israeli army said it had deployed another battalion to the West Bank on Saturday, adding hundreds more troops to a presence already on heightened alert in the occupied territory.
In the Jenin refugee camp, the site of a deadly Israeli military raid on Thursday that fueled the latest escalation, footage showed Palestinians dancing and cheering in celebration of the shooting on Saturday.
Palestinian detainees who celebrated in prison after Friday’s attack were placed in solitary confinement, the Israeli prison service said.
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