Two Israelis were killed and four others wounded in a drive-by shooting spree in Yerushalayim Sunday morning, while the terrorist was shot and killed by Israeli police.
The 60-year-old civilian victim is Levana Malichi of Yerushalayim, Hy”d, and the policeman was identified as Sgt. Major Yosef Kirma, 29, Hy”d. He was to be buried later Sunday in the police section of the Har Herzl Military Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, parents and two brothers.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the terrorist sped toward a busy stop of the city’s light rail, near Ammunition Hill, and opened fire, seriously wounding a woman waiting there, who later passed away from her injuries. He then continued driving and shot another woman who was seated in her car before speeding off. He then drove to the Shimon Hatzaddik station and opened fire, wounding more passersby.
The terrorist was then eliminated by a Special Patrol unit of motorized police as he tried to escape into the Arab Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Samri said that in the police chase after the terrorist, he eventually stepped out of his vehicle and opened fire at them. A police officer was critically wounded in the shoot-out, and he later succumbed to his wounds.
A separate police force ultimately shot and killed the terrorist, Samri said. Police identified the terrorist as a 39-year-old Palestinian from Silwan, an Arab neighborhood in East Yerushalayim. He had an M16 rifle and a hand grenade in the car.
Magen David Adom emergency medical service said it treated six wounded people, two of whom later succumbed to their wounds. Police cordoned off the area of the shooting and briefly shut down traffic on the light rail.
The attack was an unusual one in the yearlong spate of Palestinian terror attacks since most have been stabbings rather than live fire. Sunday’s was the deadliest attack on Israelis since June 8, when a pair of Palestinians opened fire and killed four people at a Tel Aviv food market.
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said at the scene of the attack that there were no specific warnings of a terror attack ahead of time and the quick response of security forces on the scene prevented a deadlier result. He repeated his previous criticism of social media sites that allow terrorists to spread their hateful messages of incitement.
“It has an impact. It pushes people out to the streets to commit acts of murder and terror,” he said.
Police Chief Roni Alsheich, who also rushed to the scene, called on the public to remain alert, but not to change their daily routines.
“It is not surprising that there are people who are attempting to shatter the tranquility of the chagim,” said Alsheich. “However, the people of Yerushalayim are strong and will not be deterred by such attacks.”
Alsheich added that despite the deadly violence, there is “no change in the security assessment, and no need to change behavior,” noting that those planning to travel to Yerushalayim during these days ahead of Yom Kippur should not change their plans.
While Alsheich said police remain well-prepared for more violence, he conceded that this latest terror attack may embolden other lone-wolf terrorists.
Updated Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 5:39 am