American citizens were injured among the eight people hurt in a reported Palestinian shooting near Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Sunday, according to Israeli police.
The alleged shooter, identified as Amir Sidawi, turned himself in after initially fleeing the scene and being pursued in a large-scale manhunt.
“A very serious incident, a serious attack with serious consequences. I am happy that the terrorist is in our hands,” Commissioner of the National Police Yaakov Shabtai said regarding the attack (English translation).
Jerusalem District Commander Superintendent Doron Turgeman noted that the massive search likely led to the alleged shooter’s surrender.
“In the end, the hunt and a very strenuous investment by the police and Shin Bet. We created significant pressure–which probably led to his extradition,” Turgeman added in a statement to reporters.
The identities of those injured have not yet been released. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides confirmed in a statement on Twitter that Americans were among those hurt.
“Deeply saddened to confirm that Americans were injured in this attack,” Nides wrote. “I’ve spoken with the families and will keep them in my prayers. Continuing to monitor the situation.”
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid addressed the media regarding the incident as well, promising to deal with the shooter to the fullest extent of the law.
“There is one conclusion from this incident, as from previous incidents: Whoever harms Israeli citizens has nowhere to hide. We will pursue them, find them wherever they are, and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law,” Lapid said.
“I spoke with the mayor of Jerusalem this morning and he is continuing to prepare the city for the holiday events. Jerusalem is vibrant and full of tourists and we will continue to keep it safe,” he added.
The shooting occurred less than one week after a truce regarding rocket strikes between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. The strikes occurred as part of a crackdown by Israel on members of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The exchange included numerous rockets fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
At least 47 Palestinians were reportedly killed during the recent strikes, with Israel claiming it had removed the top leaders of the terrorist group.
No groups have taken responsibility for the most recent shooting, and Sidawi has not been connected with any terrorist group. The Washington Post reported that a spokesperson for Hamas, a terrorist group operating in Gaza, called the shooting incident a “heroic operation.”
The surge in violence follows a string of terror incidents across Israel in the spring that killed at least 19 people in various attacks.
The shooting also comes shortly ahead of Israel’s national elections following Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s resignation. Lapid serves as caretaker prime minister until the November election.
The election will mark the fifth national election in Israel in three and a half years. Likud leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among those running, with the long-time political leader seeking a comeback bid.