In Jerusalem, on Friday evening, an unknown person opened fire on the parishioners of the synagogue. At least seven people died as a result of the shooting. Three more were wounded, including a 15-year-old teenager.
The attacker, a 21-year-old resident of a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Jerusalem, was killed in a shootout with the police. He was allegedly close to the Hamas group. Police said he most likely acted alone.
According to Police Commissioner Yakov Shabtai, the attacker "started shooting at everyone who was on the road. He got into his car and started killing with a gun at close range." Shabtai called the event "one of the worst terrorist acts in the last few years."
It is assumed that the attack could be a revenge of the Arab population of the region for a rocket attack by the Israeli army on the night of January 27 on the Gaza Strip in response to the shelling of the Palestinian Authority of Ashkelon and other settlements in the south of Israel.
The two sides exchanged rockets after a raid by Israel's army, border police and joint security forces on a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Israeli side claims that the target of the raid were members of the radical Islamic Jihad group, who were planning terrorist attacks. According to the Palestinian Authority, at least one civilian was among the 11 dead as a result of the shelling.
The aggravation of the conflict is taking place against the background of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's Middle East tour, which begins. The head of the State Department plans to visit Egypt, Israel and the West Bank.