Palestinian teen opens fire on police near Old City gate, is shot dead

No officers injured in shooting, but one lightly hurt in chase; assailant identified as 17-year-old from northern West Bank

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The scene of a shooting in the Old City of Jerusalem on December 21, 2020. (Magen David Adom)
The scene of a shooting in the Old City of Jerusalem on December 21, 2020. (Magen David Adom)

A Palestinian teenager opened fire at police officers stationed near an entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday evening, police said.

None of the officers were hit, and the cops returned fire, striking and killing the shooter after a brief chase, according to police. The assailant was identified by police as a 17-year-old from the Palestinian village of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank.

The attempted attack came less than a day after an Israeli woman was found dead in the northern West Bank. Israeli security forces were investigating the killing as a suspected terror attack.

The shooting in the Old City occurred at roughly 7 p.m. at a police guard post near the Temple Mount’s Huta Gate, according to police.

The suspect approached the group of officers at their guard post, took out a makeshift Carlo-style submachine gun and opened fire at them, before fleeing through the Old City, police said.

“The officers, along with border guards operating in the Old City, conducted an on-foot chase after the assailant, who fired at them and was neutralized by the Border Police officers,” police said.

Security camera footage from the scene, which was released by the police, showed the suspect firing wildly with the submachine gun, including apparently after being shot.

One officer was lightly injured falling while taking part in the chase, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.

Carlo-style submachine guns like the one used in the attack are relatively common in Jerusalem and the West Bank, but are generally highly inaccurate and of poor quality.

Earlier in the day, security forces uncovered the brutalized body of 52-year-old Esther Horgen in a northern West Bank forest. Horgen had left her home in the Tel Menashe settlement on Sunday afternoon, but never returned. Her body was found in the predawn hours of Monday morning.

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