Seven Jewish Israelis became the latest victims of murderous Arab hatred in Jerusalem over the Sabbath when they were slaughtered in a terrorist attack in the neighborhood of Neve Yaakov.
A lone terrorist from an Arab neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem opened fire Friday night at around 8:13 pm at a group of Jews who were standing outside and walking past a synagogue on Neve Yaakov Boulevard in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood.
United Hatzalah volunteer medic Chanoch Reem, who lives in front of the synagogue, arrived at the scene immediately after the shooting subsided and treated several people who were seriously injured.
“The terrorist killed three people at the entrance to the synagogue and left three others with various injuries,” Reem recounted. “He then drove away while continuing to shoot passersby including children, killing four more people and injuring an additional three.”
Seven victims were pronounced dead, and three more were moderately wounded in the attack, according to a statement by Israel Police.
The terrorist escaped the scene following the attack, using a vehicle he drove to the scene. A Jerusalem District police officer and a police volunteer a few hundred meters from the scene spotted the suspected vehicle in which the terrorist was driving. Joined by an additional police officer, the police chased the terrorist on foot and on horseback.
After a brief shootout, the terrorist was shot and later pronounced dead.
Police said that a preliminary investigation indicated the terrorist had carried out his attack alone.
The 21-year-old attacker has been identified as Alkam Khairi, a resident of the A-Tor neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem who held a blue Israeli identity card and had no security record. His weapon was found at the scene.
Khairi’s father praised his son’s bloodthirsty attack, telling reporters, “Our God decreed his fate to be a martyr. I want to say to those sitting with me: this is my joy. It’s like his wedding.”
The terrorist’s parents were arrested for questioning.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, the police commissioner and the commander of the Jerusalem district arrived at the scene of the attack together with other senior police and security forces officials, and together conducted situational assessments at the scene.
Following the attack, the central unit of Jerusalem District Police and the Shin Bet opened an investigation.
President Isaac Herzog Calls for Unity
“My heart breaks at news of the horrific terror attacks over Shabbat in Jerusalem,” President Isaac Herzog said in a statement following the attack.
“We have lost seven innocent civilians in a murderous terror attack, who had only just welcomed Shabbat into their homes and communities. May their memories be a blessing.
“This morning in synagogue, as the cantor recited the “El Malei Rachamim” prayer for the souls of the victims of the attack, there was not a single dry eye among the worshippers, including me. We were all moved together,” Herzog related.
“These awful terror attacks remind us again of a simple and painful truth: whatever disagreements we may have between us, against our enemies, who want to harm us and rise up to kill us, we must maintain our unity,” the president warned.
“My support and trust are with the security forces, who are working night and day against terrorism.
“I call on everyone to remain alert and act responsibly in these times. I send my wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded and grieve with the families of those murdered.”
On Friday night at 8:16 P.M., United Hatzalah’s Command and Dispatch Center received reports of several injuries following a shooting incident that took place on Neve Yaakov street at the entrance to a local synagogue.
Yosef Deshet, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, was in the synagogue with his son when the shooting began. “When I heard the gunshots begin I took cover on the floor under a table with my son. Immediately after the shooting ended, I ran to my house nearby to bring my son back to safety and to grab my medical trauma kit and bulletproof vest. I then ran back to the synagogue and found a number of people seriously injured and in critical condition. I initiated CPR and reported the number of injured and the severity of the injuries to dispatch.”
Volunteer EMT Chanoch Reem, who lives in front of the synagogue, arrived at the scene immediately after the shooting subsided and treated several people who were seriously injured.
“The terrorist killed three people at the entrance to the synagogue and left three others with various injuries,” Chanoch recounted. “He then drove away while continuing to shoot passersby including children, killing four more people and injuring an additional three.”
In total, over 30 United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs, five paramedics, and three doctors treated those injured following the attack, with five ambulances responding to the scene.
Due to the nature of the incident, the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit was also dispatched and treated numerous eyewitnesses for emotional and psychological shock. “I was just beginning his Shabbat (Friday night) meal when the attack occurred. I grabbed my bulletproof helmet and vest and rushed to the scene of the attack. Once the police gave the okay that the scene was safe, I began to provide psychological first aid and emotional stabilization to those injured and the eye-witnesses in numerous locations, both at the synagogue and down the street where the attack took place.”
Terror Alert Raised to Highest Level
Israel Police have raised the security alert in Jerusalem in response to the attack, and the Israel Defense Forces are preparing for an escalation, with forces to be increased in Judea and Samaria.
Two more Israeli Jews — a father and son — were wounded on Saturday in a second shooting attack that took place in Jerusalem’s City of David neighborhood. One of the wounded is an IDF officer. Both were taken by Magen David Adom medical teams to the city’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
An armed civilian neutralized the terrorist, a 13-year-old boy.