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At least 7 Israelis killed in shooting attack at Jerusalem synagogue

Axios logo: MainLogo Axios 1/27/2023 Barak Ravid
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Police say a gunman opened fire on worshippers at a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night local time, killing at least seven Israeli citizens and wounding three others in an incident that officials are describing as a terror attack.

The big picture: The gunman, who authorities identified as a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem, was also killed, police said. It's the deadliest attack against Israelis since the new right-wing government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, assumed office. It comes amid escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. 

Driving the news: According to the Israeli police chief, Fadi Ayyash, a Palestinian from the Shoafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, opened fire on worshippers as they left the synagogue. Ayyash then fled the scene in a car.

  • When authorities blocked Ayyash not far from the scene, he opened fire on police, and after a short chase, he was killed, the police chief added.

State of play: Tensions in the region intensified on Thursday after the Israeli military killed nine Palestinians, including an elderly woman, during a raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

  • Several Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters were killed when a gunfight broke out during the raid. At least 20 Palestinians were wounded, including unarmed civilians.
  • Not long after the raid, the Palestinian Authority suspended its security coordination with Israel, raising concerns the situation in the West Bank could deteriorate even further.

What to watch: Friday's attack took place as CIA director Bill Burns visits Israel and the occupied West Bank. He is expected to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Saturday.

  • Secretary of State Blinken is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Monday for meetings with Israeli leaders. He is also expected to meet with Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Mia Vallo

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