One of the two attackers who opened fire on security personnel in Jerusalem late Sunday, and was killed in the ensuing gun battle, was a Palestinian police officer, reports said Monday morning.
The policeman and his companion, carrying automatic weapons, shot at a group of Border Police officers who were receiving their nightly briefing before beginning patrols in the Old City’s Damascus Gate area.
The Israeli officers fired back, hitting one assailant instantly and setting off in pursuit of the second, who was still shooting at the officers, police said.
The second attacker was soon hit and killed by police fire as well. There were no injuries among the Israeli officers or bystanders.
Both attackers were residents of the West Bank, police said. The Palestinian policeman was named as Omar Ahmed Amru, and the other as Mansur Yasser Shawamra.
No explosives were found on the gunmen’s bodies or in the area, police said, after roping off the area over fears they could have been carrying bombs. Palestinian media reported that one Palestinian man was arrested in the area shortly after the incident.
The site of Sunday night’s incident was the scene of a fatal attack on February 3, in which Border Police officer Hadar Cohen, 19, was killed in a Palestinian shooting and stabbing attack. The attackers in that incident had carried pipe bombs to the site of the attack.
Sunday’s shooting came on the tail end of a particularly bloody day that saw a significant uptick in Palestinian attacks, as a nearly five-month-old wave of violence seemed to return to full force, with five Palestinians being killed amid a series of attacks on Israeli targets.
Earlier Sunday night, shots were fired at a house in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, causing damage but no injuries. Security forces were investigating the incident and searching the area. A bullet penetrated the window of a residential home, according to initial reports. No injuries were reported.
The gunfire may have come from the nearby Palestinian village of Jalazoun, authorities said.
The gunfire followed three separate attempted stabbing attacks Sunday.
Earlier in the evening, Border Police officers thwarted an attempted stabbing near the Tomb of the Patriarchs shrine in the West Bank city of Hebron, police said. The alleged assailant, a Palestinian girl initially identified as 14 years old, was shot and critically wounded.
In the afternoon, a Palestinian man was shot and killed after trying to stab officers at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem.
On Sunday morning, two Palestinian teens near Jenin in the northern West Bank were shot and killed after opening fire on security forces who were responding to reports of stone throwers in the area.