At least five people were shot dead at a synagogue in East Jerusalem on Friday night in the deadliest attack on the city in several years.
The Israeli police said that a gunman started firing at about 8:15 pm at people at a building used as a synagogue in Neve Yaakov, an Israeli settlement in the northern tip of East Jerusalem.
Five were killed and three others were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds, including a 70-year-old in critical condition, according to Magen David Adom, an emergency medical group that treated the victims at the scene.
The attacker drove away in a car and was intercepted nearby and killed by police officers, according to a police spokesman interviewed by an Israeli broadcaster. The police also released a photograph of a handgun said to have been used by the assailant.
The attack occurred after a particularly deadly month in the occupied West Bank, where at least 30 Palestinian assailants and civilians have been killed since the start of the year during Israeli military raids on Palestinian areas or Palestinian attacks on Israelis. Nine Palestinians were killed during an Israeli Army raid on Thursday in the Palestinian city of Jenin, leading the Palestinian leadership to suspend coordination with Israeli security officials.
The sequence of violence comes against a backdrop of rising political tensions in Israel and the West Bank, following the election of the most far-right government in Israeli history.