The US Embassy in Jerusalem on Sunday condemned a terror shooting outside the Old City overnight that left seven people injured, including several US citizens.
“We are shocked and saddened by the terrorist attack on August 14 outside the Old City of Jerusalem. We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and actions that exacerbate tensions,” a statement issued by an embassy spokesperson read.
“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims and we wish all of them a quick and full recovery.”
The embassy confirmed that US citizens were among the victims, saying it was gathering more details about them. Citing “privacy concerns,” the diplomatic mission said it “will have no further comment” on the issue.
“The Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad take seriously our responsibility to protect US citizens abroad,” the embassy said.
In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, a gunman fired shots at a bus and cars outside a parking lot close to the Western Wall before fleeing to the nearby Silwan neighborhood, where police conducted a widespread manhunt throughout the night.
The assailant, a resident of Jerusalem, was arrested in the morning when he turned himself in to police along with the gun apparently used in the shooting.
Those wounded in the attack reportedly included four members of a Satmar Hasidic family who came from the United States as tourists on Wednesday. The parents, son and daughter were waiting for a taxi at a bus stop when they were shot near King David’s Tomb. The family’s father was said to be in serious condition, under sedation and on a ventilator, while the mother was in moderate condition.
Also among those hurt was a 35-year-old pregnant woman who was shot while sitting in a nearby car, according to Hebrew media. Her abdominal injury was described by doctors as “complex” and her life was said to be in danger. Shaare Zedek hospital said she had undergone an emergency delivery and that the newborn was in serious but stable condition.
Addressing the terror attack during Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the assailant was “a resident of [Jerusalem] with a criminal record” and vowed to increase security in the city to prevent what he called “copycat attacks.”
He stressed, however, that Jerusalem remains “safe, strong and open to tourists and residents alike.”
The incident happened a week after a three-day intense round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iran-backed terror group that is also based in Gaza and is considered more hardline than Hamas. Over 1,000 rockets were fired at Israeli cities, as the Israel Defense Forces conducted airstrikes aimed at PIJ targets in the Strip. Gazan authorities say 49 Palestinians were killed, many of whom Israel says were killed by misfired PIJ rockets that landed inside Gaza.
Since March, 19 people — mostly Israeli civilians inside Israel — have been killed in attacks, mostly by Palestinians. Three Arab Israeli attackers were also killed.
AFP contributed to this report.