Police made an arrest after a terror attack in Jerusalem left eight people wounded just after midnight on Sunday. Among the wounded were a pregnant woman and a family of tourists from America.
The shooter fled the scene just outside the Western Wall in the Old City, prompting a massive manhunt that lasted throughout the night. On Sunday morning, police announced they had made an arrest. Hebrew media reports identified the suspect as 26-year-old Amir Sidawi, an East Jerusalem resident, who they said turned himself in at a police station this morning.
The gunman opened fire on a bus that arrived at a bus stop, shooting at passengers while they were boarding. The pregnant woman who was shot had to undergo an emergency C-section and doctors described her condition as “complex” and in danger. The baby was in serious but stable condition.
The American family on tour arrived in Israel on Wednesday, according to media reports. The father was hospitalized in serious condition and the mother was in moderate condition. The family were said to be from the Satmar Hasidic sect of Judaism.
The Old City was extremely crowded Saturday night after Shabbat ended. With tourism regaining traction after two years of COVID-related closures – and the last few busy weeks of the summer vacation underway – sites in Jerusalem and around the country are more crowded than usual. Officials sought to calm fears after the attack.
“Jerusalem is our capital city and the center of tourism for all religions. The police and the IDF are working to restore the quiet and the feeling of safety in the city,” said Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is stronger than any event and we will not allow any terrorist to harm the routine of life in the public space. The capital of Israel will continue to be a city full of life, happy and vibrant,” Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said.
The terror group Hamas, meanwhile, praised the “heroic” attack saying it was “a natural response to the occupation’s daily crimes against our people, our country and major Muslim and Christian sites.”
No organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the first since a ceasefire went into effect last week between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The ceasefire was put into effect last week following a three-day skirmish which left some 50 Palestinians dead and thousands of Israelis sheltering from 1,100 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
A wave of terror beginning in March has left 19 people dead. The attacks were carried out by both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.
During this terror incident, the bus driver said he could not move the bus to escape the shooting since the wheelchair ramp was open and in use while people were boarding. Some passengers were injured on the bus and some outside while waiting to board.
Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS