Jerusalem shooter had a long history of violence, police records show

Amir Sidawi, who is believed to have acted alone in overnight Sunday's attack, was previously suspected of murder and served five years in prison for grievous bodily harm before receiving an administrative release in August 2020
Ynet reporters|
Amir Sidawi, the terrorist who carried out the terror shooting near Jerusalem's Old City overnight Sunday which wounded eight people, had a lengthy criminal record and has served time in prison before, according to police records.
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  • The 26-year-old East Jerusalem resident, who is believed to have acted alone, was suspected of murder in the past but was eventually convicted of grievous bodily harm in 2015 and sentenced to eight years in prison, of which he served five.
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    Amir Sidawi and the gun he used to carry out the attack near Jerusalem's Old City
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    In August 2020, he was released from Hermon prison as part of an administrative release, after the parole board found that he underwent treatment that included, among other things, anger management workshops.
    Sidawi turned himself in to the police Sunday morning after law enforcement launched a massive, hours-long manhunt after him. He arrived at the capital's Moriya police station by taxi with the gun he used to carry out the attack and a knife. The taxi driver was questioned by the police.
    Sidawi's arraignment is scheduled for later Sunday in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court.
    The gunman opened fire at two different locations, first at a bus waiting in a parking lot near the Western Wall, considered the holiest site where Jews can pray. Two male passengers in their 30s sustained light to moderate injuries.
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    זירת הפיגוע
    Medics at the scene of the attack
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The gunman then fled and opened fire again nearby, wounding another six people, four of them are members of an ultra-Orthodox family from the United States.
    The wounded were taken to hospitals around the capital for treatment. Two of the victims were in serious condition, including a man with gunshot wounds to the head and neck and a pregnant woman with abdominal injuries. Doctors had to deliver her baby, who is also in serious condition.
    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yair Lapid vowed to "chase after" those "who harm Israeli citizens" after the attack in Jerusalem.
    Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting, the premier said, "we will catch them everywhere, and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."
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    ישיבת ממשלה
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting
    (Photo: AP)
    He added: "The Jerusalem area will be significantly boosted [by security forces] to prevent copycat attacks, but I want to emphasize - the capital of Israel is safe, open, strong and welcoming to tourists and residents alike."
    Condemnations of the attack poured in from all over the world, including from the United Nations envoy to the Middle East Tor Wennesalnd.
    "I denounce today’s shooting attack by a #Palestine|ian perpetrator targeting Jewish worshippers near the Old City in #Jerusalem in which 8 people were injured, including two in serious condition. I wish the wounded a speedy recovery," he wrote on Twitter
    "It is deplorable that #Palestine|ian factions continue to glorify such attacks, which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and #Israel|is. I urge all to condemn violence and stand up to terror."
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