Hamas gunmen have killed three people while 13 were injured in the attack they launched at a bus stop in Jerusalem during rush hour on Thursday.
The Palestinian group disclosed its militants carried out a shooting in Jerusalem on Thursday, despite the extension for a day of a truce in Gaza and to release at least 10 more Israeli hostages.
The Telegraph said an off-duty soldier reportedly intervened and shot and killed the attackers, who arrived in a vehicle and opened fire with an M-16 rifle and a handgun.
In a statement, the terror group said, “This operation is a natural response to the unprecedented crimes of the occupier in the Gaza Strip and against children in Jenin.”
Itamar Ben Gvir, Benjamin Netanyahu’s firebrand coalition partner, said the incident supported his policy of arming civilians.
“This type of incident proves again how much we can’t show weakness, how much we have to speak to Hamas only through intentions, only through the war,” he said at the scene.
Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency identified the attackers as brothers Murad and Ibrahim Namr, Hamas members who had previously been jailed for terror offences.
The two attackers “were neutralised on the scene shortly after the attack by two off-duty IDF soldiers and another civilian who fired at them”, the police said.
“A police search of the terrorists’ car revealed ammunition and weaponry,” they said, adding that three of the wounded were in a serious condition.
Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, said the gunmen were probably from “sleeper cells” in the area.
“People just going about their day, waiting for the bus, got cruelly shot by two gunmen with long guns, indiscriminately, and the hospital is now full of injured as well,” she said.
The three people who died were identified in local media as 24-year-old Livia Dickman, Hanna Ifergan, a headteacher in Beit Shemesh said to be in her sixties, and Elimelech Wasserman, 73, who was a retired rabbinical judge.
Wasserman and Shemesh died of their wounds in the Shaare Zedek Hospital, while Dickman died at the scene.
The wounded are being treated in two hospitals in the Jerusalem area, with at least five people described in reports as having serious injuries.
Jack Lew, the US ambassador to Israel, condemned the shooting. “Abhorrent terrorist attack in Jerusalem this morning. We unequivocally condemn such brutal violence,” he said.
Tensions have risen in the West Bank following the October 7 attacks and bombardment of Gaza.
More than 240 Palestinians have been killed and at least 3,000 others injured, according to the Palestinian health ministry.