JERUSALEM, Israel – Less than a week after Israel concluded its Operation Breaking Dawn against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, an Arab-Israeli man opened fire on a bus near Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday, wounding eight, including five Americans.
Terror groups welcomed the attack and called it a “heroic operation” that proved Israel didn’t have the victory in the Gaza operation.
“It is an affirmation that the illusory victory that (Prime Minister Yair Lapid) and (Defense Minister Benny Gantz) had marketed to his people and Israeli society was squandered in this heroic and brave operation, which is a blow to the Zionist security system,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Hamas terror group.
The attack took place near a bus stop around 1:00 in the morning, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls near a place called David’s Tomb, where many people pray. The attacker fired on a bus full of people, wounding those who were at the bus stop as well as those inside the bus.
“Six wounded arrived at the trauma unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center: two wounded in serious condition - a pregnant woman in her 30s with a very complex [abdominal] injury and a man in his 60s with an injury on the neck and head, also a gunshot wound,” said Dr. Alon Schwarz, Director of the Trauma Unit at Shaare Zedek.
All the wounded are recovering, including the woman and her baby, which had to be delivered by C-section.
While Hamas praised the attack, the suspect, Amir Sidawi, a Jerusalem resident, is apparently not a member of a terrorist organization. He does have a criminal background and turned himself into the police hours after the shooting.
Despite receiving praise from terror groups, the attacker, Amir Sidawi, is a Jerusalem resident with a criminal background but apparently doesn’t belong to any terror group. He surrendered to the police hours after the attack.
Still, Hamas claimed it as a victory and called for more attacks.
“This operation confirms that the Palestinian people continue on the path of resistance and all the tools of struggle and resistance against this occupation are to protect our people, our land and our holy sites,” said Barhoum.
The US condemned the attack and US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted:
“Deeply saddened to confirm that Americans were injured in this attack. I’ve spoken with the families and will keep them in my prayers. Continuing to monitor the situation.”
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said police will reinforce Jerusalem.
“There is one conclusion from this event, as from previous events: whoever harms the citizens of Israel will have nowhere to run. We will hunt them down and get them everywhere and we will deal with them with the full severity of the law,” said Lapid.
He emphasized that Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is “safe, open, strong and welcoming to tourists and residents.”
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