Eight hurt in gun attack on Jewish worshippers’ bus in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, Aug 14 (Reuters) – A gunman on Sunday wounded at least eight people on a bus carrying Jewish worshipers in Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli officials and witnesses said.

The shooter later turned himself into Israeli authorities, according to a police statement, which did not identify him. Israeli media said the attacker was a Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

The Old City contains sites holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, and is one of the areas where Palestinian statehood is sought. Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital – a status not recognized internationally.

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The attack occurred early Sunday morning, as Jews were leaving the Western Wall for the end of the Sabbath ritual.

“Jerusalem is our capital city and a tourist center for all religions,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement, adding that Israeli security forces would “restore peace”.

No armed group immediately claimed responsibility.

The US State Department said in a statement that it “strongly condemns the terrorist attack” and that at least five US citizens were among the injured.

The attack comes a week after the worst outbreak of hostilities in more than a year, when Israeli jets struck the besieged Gaza Strip in what the military claimed was a pre-emptive strike to prevent a threat to Israel.

At least 49 people, including civilians and children, were killed and hundreds more injured in Gaza during a 56-hour battle in which the Islamic Jihad group fired more than 1,000 rockets toward Israel.

Tensions have continued since three gunmen were killed in a shootout with Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Nablus last week.

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Writing by Dan Williams; Additional reporting by Michael Martina in Washington; Editing by Michael Perry and Frances Carey

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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