Three people were killed, including a 24-year-old woman, a 60-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man, and at least 11 people were injured Thursday morning in a shooting attack at a bus stop near the entrance to Jerusalem. Two terrorists, one armed with an M-16 rifle, were neutralized at the scene. Hamas later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Later on Thursday, two Israelis were mildly injured in a suspected terror ramming attack close to a checkpoint in the Jewish settlement of Bekaot, located in the West Bank. According to initial reports, the terrorist has been neutralized by security forces. The two injured were later identified as IDF reservists.
At least 11 people were injured in the attack on Thursday morning in Jerusalem ranging from severe to mild injuries, Magen David Adom first reported. Four of the injured remain in serious condition.
Rabbi Elimelech Wasserman, a judge in the Ashdod Rabbinical Court, was identified as one of the victims killed in the shooting attack near Jerusalem, Israeli officials confirmed Thursday. The other two victims were later identified as Hana Ifergan, 67, and Livia Dickman, 24.
Minister of Religious Affairs Michael Malchieli paid tribute to Wasserman, and said that he was murdered while on his way to the court in Ashdod: "Rabbi Wasserman, one of the oldest and most important judges of the court system in Israel, served the people of Israel for many years with devotion, with a bright face," the minister said. "My condolences to his dear family, may they never know more sorrow."
Ifergan, 67, a resident of Jerusalem, was the director of the Beit Ya'akov Hadassa Girls school in Beit Shemesh. The 24-year-old Dickman lived in the Har Nof neighborhood in the capital.
The two terrorists who opened fire at the entrance to Jerusalem arrived in the same vehicle, and were neutralized by two soldiers and a civilian who were nearby. They were later identified as two brothers from Sur Baher in East Jerusalem - Ibrahim Nemer, 30, and Murad Nemer, 38. During a police search of the terrorists' vehicle, cartridges and a lot of ammunition were found.
The two terrorists identified with Hamas. Murad Nimer, served time in an Israeli prison between 2010-2020 for terrorist activity directed from the Gaza Strip, and his brother Ibrahim who spent time in an Israeli prison in 2014 for terrorist activity.
Israel Police Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman arrived at the scene shortly after the attack. "The terrorists were from East Jerusalem, one was armed with an M-16 and the other with a pistol. A quick reaction by two soldiers who were present at the bus stop and another civilian led to the neutralization of the attackers," he told reporters at the scene.
One of the soldiers involved in neutralizing the terrorists was a reservist, identified as Roi Eisenbach from Ofra, who had just returned from fighting in Gaza.
Moshiko Harush, an eyewitness to the shooting attack in Jerusalem this morning, told Ynet: "I was driving toward work on the opposite road and suddenly two terrorists stopped in a silver Ford – one with an M-16 and the other with a gun. They started spraying in all directions. They shot the girl mercilessly. There was a civilian on the opposite side of the road who came out with his weapon, signaled me to run and ran into this inferno. He was injured, and they shot in every direction and tried to hit everyone."
At this point, Harush says, "I took the car, and I saw someone with a baby a few meters behind me who was being squeezed. She got into the car with me and we drove against the direction of traffic. There were endless shots on the way, just crazy. "
Eyewitness Eitan Zaretsky said that during the attack he tried to direct people to a safe place: "I don't have a weapon on me, so what I did was try to go to a place that was not exposed to a terrorist, see who was coming - and point him in the direction. Then I went out to the scene to direct the rescue forces, because at first they didn't even understand where to go."
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir arrived at the scene of the attack and spoke to reporters. “This type of incident proves again how much we can’t show weakness, how much we have to speak to Hamas only through the sight of a gun only through the war,” he said. He said that the attack and the killing of the Palestinian gunmen by off-duty soldiers and a civilian is evidence of the need for his policy of allowing more civilians to carry guns.
"This attack is further proof for our commitment to continue fighting with strength and determination against the murderous terrorism that threatens our citizens," Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's war cabinet, wrote on social media platform X.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was visiting Tel Aviv, said Thursday's shooting was a reminder "of the threat from terrorism that Israel and Israelis face every single day ... My heart goes out to the victims of this attack."
The U.S. ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew, condemned the attack. "A despicable attack in Jerusalem this morning. We unequivocally condemn such brutal violence. My thoughts are with the victim's family, and I send my condolences to all those affected," he wrote on his X account.
First published: 07:57, 11.30.23