Two killed after shooting attack on light-rail station in Jerusalem

Two people were killed and at least six injured in a drive-by shooting at a light rail station in Jerusalem on Sunday, according to police and emergency service officials.

The assailant, identified by police as a 39-year-old resident of Silwan, in East Jerusalem, had attacked the Ammunition Hill station, near police headquarters, officials said.

He was shot and killed in an exchange of fire with special patrol units on motorcycles after fleeing the scene, injuring several along the way, according to a police spokeswoman.

The Islamic Hamas movement claimed the attack, saying that Musbah Abu Subeih had been one of the movement's active members.

"Before he sacrificed his soul today, he always sacrificed his money and years of his life for al-Aqsa Mosque and for Jerusalem," the group said in an official statement.

Abu Subeih had told the Maan news agency a day before the attack that he had planned on turning himself in Sunday to serve a four-month sentence related to assault charges against an Israeli police officer in 2013, claims that the Hamas statement also supported.

Police confirmed that in today's attack officer Joseph Kirma, 29, was killed in a gunfight with the attacker and that a funeral was planned for later Sunday.

Kirma and Levana Hamama, a 60-year-old Jerusalem woman who was shot in the upper body, were taken to Hadassah Medical Centre in critical condition, where they later died, according to Israeli media reports.

Israeli police and security forces had expressed concerns ahead of a string of Jewish holidays in October after an uptick in violence during the same period last year.

Israel blames the violence on inflammatory rhetoric by radical Muslim leaders, who call on youths to kill Jews to "defend" al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and who glorify the attackers as "martyrs" and "heroes."

Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, condemned the attack in a statement on Sunday.

"It is deplorable and unacceptable that Hamas and others choose to glorify such acts which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and Israelis.”

On September 19, two police officers were injured, one seriously, in Jerusalem's Old City by a knife-wielding attacker during the last especially violent weekend that saw at least five assailants killed.

Last update: Sun, 09/10/2016 - 16:03
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