Benny Gantz, a key member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, expressed on Thursday that the shooting incident at a Jerusalem bus stop, resulting in the tragic loss of three civilians, only reinforces the nation's unwavering commitment to combat terrorism.
During the morning rush hour, two suspected Hamas operatives opened fire at individuals waiting at the bus stop on the outskirts of Jerusalem, marking a grim anniversary almost a year after a deadly bombing attack occurred at the same location on November 23, 2022.
The police reported that two off-duty soldiers and a civilian successfully neutralized the two suspects. In a heartfelt post on a social media platform, Gantz, a former Defense Minister as well, extended condolences and emphasized, "This attack serves as additional evidence of our determination to confront the lethal terrorism threatening our citizens with strength and resolve, be it in Jerusalem, Gaza, Yosh, or anywhere else."
Israel's National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gavir, earlier identified the shooters as brothers Murad Namr (38) and Ibrahim Namr (30) from East Jerusalem, asserting that they were Hamas militants. Gavir highlighted the contradictory stance of these individuals, stating, "These are apparently Hamas operatives, who present themselves with a dual voice—one advocating a so-called cease-fire and the other promoting terror."
The victims included a 24-year-old woman and a man in his 70s, with six others sustaining injuries in the attack. One victim was declared dead at the scene by the Magen David Adom rescue service, while two others succumbed to their injuries at Shaare Zedek hospital.
Providing details of the incident, police chief Doron Turgeman mentioned that the attackers were armed with an M-16 rifle and a pistol, arriving at the scene in a car to open fire on civilians.
The area of the attack has been sealed off, and an additional search is underway to eliminate the possibility of any additional suspects, according to the police.
In a statement on a social media platform, formerly Twitter, US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew unequivocally condemned such brutal violence. The attack occurred just hours after Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the humanitarian truce in Gaza for a seventh day, moments before its scheduled expiration on Thursday.
(With Agency Inputs)