At least one person was killed and four injured on Friday in what Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “terrorist attack.”
The shooting took place in the city of Jerusalem, the site of frequent Israeli-Palestinian clashes, when a group of Palestinians were seen being taken to Israel’s military court for a hearing, reported NBC News.
Shots reportedly rang out as they were being taken. At the scene, an Israeli flag was seen hanging from a building with an American flag in the back. The victims were described as being in the military court’s cafeteria.
An Israeli border police spokesman, Jonathan Conricus, told NBC News that his officers were working to disperse the crowd in the area.
“Right now, police are trying to evacuate the injured and neutralize the shooter,” he said.
According to the Associated Press, Palestinians say that an attacker opened fire on the crowds in eastern Jerusalem’s Old City. The Palestinian health ministry issued a statement claiming that one person was killed and four others wounded in the attack.
Israeli media identified the attacker as Ghassan Ayoub, a 26-year-old Palestinian with a criminal record. It reports that he was shot and killed by the Israeli forces and brought to Israeli custody, according to the Israeli government.
Israeli government spokesman Gilad Erdan was reported to have said that “a terrorist was shot and killed by police near an Israeli military court and that there was no escape attempt.”
Palestinian Authority Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti tweeted, “The Israelis want the blood of Palestinians to be soaked in blood, no matter what they do. The new intifada will begin with our martyrs and our heroes being buried.”
A photo from Israel’s Channel 2 News that appeared to show the Israeli flags were in the background appeared to set off a firestorm on social media. David Horowitz, chairman of the Jewish Military Association, was quoted by Politico as calling the incident “BS.” The Israeli military distanced itself from the image. “A military police officer was unaware he was shooting at the Israeli flag. The views of any military officer are personal and do not represent the military force,” the army said.
Aneurin Bevan, the U.K.’s ambassador to Israel, also condemned the incident on Twitter.
Just another case of Palestinian violence. The entire Israel-Palestine conflict should end through negotiations & resolution by the parties, not actions — Aneurin Bevan (@AneurinBevan) November 9, 2018
Ahead of the incident, Netanyahu pledged that “Jerusalem will never become the capital of a third Palestinian state.” He also reiterated the fact that “It is the mission of the IDF to fight terrorism and save lives.”