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At least 7 killed in Jerusalem synagogue shooting


TEL AVIV — A Palestinian gunman killed at least seven people, including children, during Friday night prayers at a synagogue in East Jerusalem. The attack comes amid a spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence that is among the first tests for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government.

The gunman entered the synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Jerusalem at about 8:15 p.m. local time and opened fire on worshipers gathered for Friday night prayers, according to a statement by Israeli police. He then ran back onto the street and began firing at passersby before being killed at the scene.

At least five others were injured, according to Israeli media, including several who are in critical condition.

The gunman is believed to have acted alone, though Israeli police said they were searching for the person who drove him to the site.

The shooting comes a day after Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians, including at least one civilian, during a military raid in Jenin, the West Bank city that has become a hotbed of armed Palestinian resistance. On Thursday night, militants in the Gaza Strip fired at least 13 rockets into Israel, raising new fears of a wider outbreak of violence.

Mushir al-Masri, a politician from Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, congratulated the Jerusalem attacker, saying the shooting was “a quick response to the Jenin massacre, and it is evidence of the vitality and readiness of the resistance.”

The killings come as Israeli security officials are preparing for Ramadan, which will converge with the Jewish holiday of Passover and has in recent years been accompanied by an uptick in violence.

“Terrorism must not be allowed to rear its head,” tweeted Yair Lapid, head of the Israeli opposition. “We must use a hard hand against it.”

Netanyahu and the high-profile members of his right-wing coalition are scheduled to hold a security meeting in Jerusalem on Friday night.

Hazem Balousha in Gaza City and Sufian Taha in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.