Around 1:30 am local time Sunday, police responded to reports of a “terrorist armed with weapons who shot at a bus and vehicles in a parking lot near the Old City of Jerusalem.” The attack took place near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, where the shooter targeted a bus in the area.
At least eight people, including five Americans, were wounded in the attack. Two of the Americans are being treated at the Hadassah Medical Center, and three at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, according to reports from the hospitals.
The hospitals stated that at least two of the injured Americans were tourists and Israeli media confirmed that four of the American victims were tourists and members of the same family.
Emergency services reported that two of the victims are in serious condition while the other six victims are mildly or moderately injured. One of the wounded individuals was pregnant and had to endure an emergency cesarean operation, both the mother and baby are in serious condition, according to the Shaare Zedek hospital.
The US Embassy in Jerusalem said that they are “shocked and saddened by the attack,” and are currently gathering more information. A spokesperson released a statement to CNN today regarding the attack:
“We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and actions that exacerbate tensions. Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims and we wish all of them a quick and full recovery.”
Tom Nides, the US Ambassador to Israel, also released a statement via his Twitter condemning the attack:
“Strongly condemn the terrorist attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem. I am praying for a quick recovery for all of the innocent victims,” Nides said.
“Deeply saddened to confirm that Americans were injured in this attack. I’ve spoken with the families and will keep them in my prayers. Continuing to monitor the situation.”
According to a police spokesperson, the shooter initially fled the scene with both security forces, the Shin Bet, and the IDF in pursuit. The suspect later turned himself into the police with his weapon being immediately seized.
The suspect is an Israeli citizen born in 1996. While he’s not known for any terror related offenses, he has a criminal record and spent time in prison, his identity has not been released.
Israeli media outlets described the suspect as a Palestinian who holds Israeli citizenship. Police and forensic investigators have begun a full investigation into the attack.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.