Palestinian 15-year-old arrested for East Jerusalem shooting that injured 2 Israelis

Teen from Nablus reportedly went to school after firing at vehicle from point-blank range on Tuesday; separately, IDF says 3 held in Jenin involved in major ‘terrorist activity’

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli security forces search for the suspect of a shooting attack in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, April 18, 2023 (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israeli security forces search for the suspect of a shooting attack in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, April 18, 2023 (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

A Palestinian 15-year-old was arrested overnight on suspicion of carrying out a terror shooting in which two Israeli men were wounded in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the military said Wednesday.

The teenage suspect shot the two men at point-blank range on Tuesday morning, and after fleeing the scene, went to school, according to Channel 12 news.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that the suspect, a resident of the Askar refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus, implicated himself in the shooting during his first interrogation.

The military said the teen was detained during a raid in Nablus, less than 24 hours after the shooting, and that he had been transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning. There were no reports of injuries during the operation.

Surveillance camera footage of the attack showed the attacker approaching the victims’ car and opening fire from close range, before fleeing.

The weapon apparently used in the attack, a makeshift “Carlo” submachine gun, was found by officers nearby, police said.

The two victims in the attack were treated at the scene and then taken to hospitals in the capital, where they were said to be in moderate and stable condition.

The son of one of the victims, Moshe Yosef Hass, said his 60-year-old father and the second victim initially thought somebody had thrown rocks at the vehicle.

“He did not understand what happened. He thought they threw two stones at the car, but then they started to feel terrible pain and realized that they were shot,” Menashe Hass told the Ynet news site. “My father is not one of those people who gets involved in security tensions. For years he has prayed every day at the tomb of Simeon the Just.”

The victims were heading to morning prayers at the tomb, in Sheikh Jarrah.

The neighborhood, parts of which were historically known as Shimon Hatzadik, has become one of Jerusalem’s tensest in recent years.

Jewish nationalists have sought to evict Palestinian residents in decades-long legal battles that were among the catalysts an 11-day war between Israel and the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip in 2021.

A makeshift ‘Carlo’ submachine gun suspected to have been used in a terrorist attack in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, April 18, 2023. (Israel Police)

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai welcomed the arrest, and said that in addition, security forces in Jerusalem had thwarted eight terror attacks in the city in recent weeks.

“Let every terrorist know that security forces will reach them wherever they escape to and wherever they hide,” he said in a statement.

“The war on terrorism is a daily and cross-district one, and we as the police do, and will do, everything to thwart any terrorist organization and any intention to harm civilians and security forces,” Shabtai said.

Separately on Wednesday morning, the IDF said the three suspects arrested during a raid a day earlier in the Jenin refugee camp were suspected of involvement in “significant terrorist activity,” including shooting and explosives attacks.

The military said brothers Ahmed and Muhammad Jaradat were arrested along with a third suspect.

People gather outside a ransacked building following an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on April 18, 2023. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

The IDF said that during the operation, armed men shot and threw explosives at the forces, who responded with gunfire.

According to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, eight people were wounded by gunfire amid the clashes. The official Wafa news agency said that included a 68-year-old woman who was hit in the hand and a paramedic who was hit by shrapnel.

The IDF said that they were “aware” of the reports of injuries.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been high for the past year, with the Israeli military conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.

At least 92 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.

Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank have left 19 people dead since the beginning of the year and several more seriously hurt.

Tuesday’s shooting attack in Jerusalem came hours after a Palestinian woman stabbed and moderately hurt an Israeli man in the West Bank on Monday evening.

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