Seven people were killed and several others were injured in a terrorist shooting attack on Friday at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood, according to police.
Police said the terrorist was shot dead after he opened fire on officers while trying to flee on foot.
A huge force was dispatched to the scene, and a manhunt was launched for possible additional assailants.
“This is a serious and complex attack with a large number of victims,” said Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai. “We are currently conducting searches in the area to rule out the possibility that there are more people involved who are walking around freely. The terrorist was neutralized by a police officer and a volunteer, preventing a larger attack.”
According to reports, at least one terrorist opened fire “for several minutes” inside the Jewish place of worship.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was slated to hold a security assessment with top brass, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he was cutting short his personal trip to the United States to return home.
Meanwhile, the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups praised Friday’s attack.
Palestinian terrorists fired a barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli communities overnight Thursday, prompting retaliatory strikes by the IDF against Hamas assets.
At midnight, two rockets were fired from Gaza towards the southern city of Ashkelon, with both being intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.
A few hours later, three more rockets were fired towards Israeli communities located along the border with Gaza. One of the rockets was intercepted by Iron Dome, a second struck in an open area and the third fell short in the Strip, according to the IDF.
The military conducted retaliatory strikes on targets that included a military camp belonging to Hamas in northern Gaza that served as one of the terror organization’s most important focal points of activity.
The IDF said that it had caused “significant” damage to Hamas’s efforts to arm and strengthen itself, and reiterated Israel’s policy of holding the largest Gaza-based terrorist group responsible for any attacks emanating from the enclave it controls.
The exchange came after nine Palestinians were killed during heavy clashes between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israeli troops in Jenin in northern Samaria Thursday morning.
The decision by Israeli security forces to conduct a rare large-scale operation in Jenin during daylight hours reflected the urgent need to prevent a major terror plot from moving ahead.
That plot, according to security sources, involved a Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack against Israelis to be carried out in the immediate future.
Israeli forces remain engaged in a counter-terrorism offensive, primarily in Judea and Samaria, in response to a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 31 people in 2022.