JERUSALEM: Gunmen killed three people and wounded several more in Jerusalem on Thursday, Israeli police said, in an attack shortly after an truce in the Israel-Hamas war was extended.
Police said the two assailants from annexed east Jerusalem opened fire on people near a bus stop on the western side of Jerusalem, where there are no checkpoints guarding the entrance to the city.
“Two terrorists arrived in a car, one of them armed with an M-16 and the other with a pistol,” and opened fire, Jerusalem police chief Doron Torgeman told reporters at the scene.
The two attackers “were neutralised on the scene shortly after the attack by two off-duty IDF (Israeli army) soldiers and another civilian who fired at them”, police said in a statement.
“A police search of the terrorists’ car revealed ammunition and weaponry,” the statement said, adding that three of the wounded were in serious condition.
Footage circulating on social media and broadcast on Israeli television showed two men emerging from a white car and opening fire on people waiting for a bus, before security personnel and bystanders intervene and return fire.
AFP was not able to immediately verify the footage.
The Magen David Adom emergency service said one of the fatalities was a 24-year-old woman.
The shooting came shortly after a truce pausing fighting in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel was extended for a seventh day, moments before it had been due to expire.
The war began after Hamas militants poured over the Gaza border with Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping about 240, according to Israeli officials.
In response, Israel vowed to crush Hamas and unleashed a relentless air and ground offensive that the Hamas government in Gaza says has killed nearly 15,000 people in the Palestinian territory, also mostly civilians.
Since the war broke out, there has been an uptick in deadly violence in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
On October 6, an Israeli border police officer died after being stabbed by a Palestinian assailant at a police station in east Jerusalem.
Ten days later, an Israeli soldier died after being shot in an attack on a checkpoint on the eastern side of Jerusalem at the entrance to a tunnel linking the West Bank with the city.
Another five Israeli security personnel were also wounded, with Israeli police shooting dead all three assailants.
That attack was claimed by the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigades.