Video shows gunman opened fire on checkpoint guards from point-blank range

CCTV footage indicates apparent lapses in security as gunman manages to approach soldiers and civilian guards and shoot without being detected, before fleeing

A Palestinian gunman (circled in red) approaches a group of IDF soldiers and civilian guards, apparently undetected, at an East Jerusalem checkpoint on October 8 2022 (Screencapture)
A Palestinian gunman (circled in red) approaches a group of IDF soldiers and civilian guards, apparently undetected, at an East Jerusalem checkpoint on October 8 2022 (Screencapture)

Video released Sunday appears to show that a Palestinian gunman who opened fire on a group of soldiers and guards at an East Jerusalem checkpoint managed to approach them undetected and open fire from point-blank range.

Israel Defense Forces soldier Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, was killed in the attack on Saturday night, and a civilian guard was seriously wounded. Two Border Police officers were lightly injured by shrapnel in the shooting.

The video, from CCTV monitors at the checkpoint outside the Shuafat refugee camp, appears to indicate lapses in security at a time of high alert in the city and in the West Bank.

The gunman can be seen getting out of a white vehicle as it goes through the checkpoint and slowly walking over to a group of soldiers and guards who are standing nearby, apparently engaged in a conversation and unaware of his approach.

He then pulls out a handgun and fires several shots into the group, hitting two of them as the others dive for cover.

He carries on firing at one person on the ground for several seconds until the gun jams, and then turns and runs away into the nearby refugee camp before any of the other soldiers at the checkpoint can react.

Officials said he fired seven shots.

An Israeli soldier reacts inside an ambulance following a shooting attack at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, on October 8, 2022. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

As he began firing, the vehicle he was in rapidly drove away. The driver of the vehicle later turned himself in to police and is not believed to have been an accomplice.

The driver claimed he picked up the shooter, who had hitched a ride saying he was going to the central Israeli city of Modiin.

Photos from the scene of the shooting showed blood smeared across a section of paving stones and pavement next to a guard booth, as police closed off the area with red tape and collected evidence.

Security forces raided the Shuafat refugee camp after the attack in search of the shooter and two other suspects. Special forces units and a helicopter were taking part in the manhunt.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who arrived on the scene alongside top police officials, said security forces “will lay their hands on the attacker, alive or dead.” Barlev said the shooter was a 22-year-old resident of Shuafat.

Hebrew media identified him as Udai Tamimi and said his mother, father and brother had been detained for questioning.

Police said three other suspected accomplices had been arrested. The suspects were in their 20s and from Shuafat and Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem and Anata in the West Bank.

However, other officials said they believed Tamimi acted alone.

Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, who was killed in a shooting attack in East Jerusalem on October 8, 2022 (Israel Defence Forces)

The military said Lazar, from the community of Bat Hefer in northern Israel, was a member of the Military Police’s Erez battalion.  Lazar, a corporal, was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Lazar and the guard were rushed to a hospital in Jerusalem for medical treatment after the attack, according to police and medics.

Lazar was declared dead at the hospital, the IDF announced after her family had been notified.

Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem said Sunday morning that the guard had been operated on overnight by neurosurgeons and remained on a ventilator, in serious condition.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid and President Isaac Herzog issued statements mourning Lazar’s death and vowing to apprehend the attacker.

“With a broken heart, I received the news of (her) death,” said Lapid. “On behalf of myself and the government of Israel, I send condolences to her family and friends. There are no words to ease their great loss.”

An Israeli border police officer walks at the scene of a shooting attack near the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

“We will not be quiet and know no rest until we bring justice to the depraved terrorist,” he said.

“Sending condolences to the grieving family of the IDF soldier, Sgt. Noa Lazar, for whom the joy of the holiday turned into terrible grief, and praying for the recovery of the injured from the shooting attack in Jerusalem,” said Herzog.

“No despicable terrorist will break our spirit. We will fight terrorism and continue to build our lives and celebrate our holidays. We trust the IDF and the security forces,” he said.

The Gaza-based Hamas terror group said it “blessed the heroic operation,” calling the shooting “a reaction to the incursions into Al-Aqsa and the aggression by the occupation today against Jenin.” Earlier Saturday, two Palestinians were killed during an arrest operation by the IDF in Jenin, a city in the West Bank.

“These operations carry a message that the revolt of our people is in progress and will not subside and that the operations, shootings, and gunfire of our youth in revolt will haunt the occupiers and herds of settlers everywhere in response to their crimes and their incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Hamas said but did not explicitly claim responsibility for the attack.

The scene of a shooting attack at a checkpoint outside the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, October 8, 2022. (Flash90)

Celebratory fireworks were reported in Shuafat after the shooting.

The incident comes as military and police are on heightened alert in Jerusalem and the West Bank over the Jewish holiday season. The Prime Minister’s Office said that over Shabbat, Lapid held a security assessment ahead of the start of the Sukkot festival Sunday evening “with an emphasis on the deployment of forces in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, as well as elsewhere across the country.”

Tensions were already high due to an ongoing anti-terror campaign in the West Bank that has seen over 100 Palestinians killed and more than 2,000 arrested in nightly raids, during which Israeli troops have regularly been targeted by gunfire. Most of those killed were gunmen or participants in violent clashes, but some were unarmed civilians.

The operation was launched after a series of Palestinian terror attacks that killed 19 people between mid-March and the beginning of May.

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