(JNS) – Israeli President Isaac Herzog extended condolences on Saturday night to the families of the victims of two terrorist attacks in Jerusalem in the previous 24 hours.
“My heart breaks at news of the horrific terror attacks over Shabbat in Jerusalem. We have lost seven innocent civilians in a murderous terror attack, who had only just welcomed Shabbat into their homes and communities. May their memories be a blessing,” said Herzog in a statement.
“This morning in synagogue, as the cantor recited the El Malei Rachamim prayer for the souls of the victims of the attack, there was not a single dry eye among the worshippers, including me. We were all moved together. These awful terror attacks remind us again of a simple and painful truth: Whatever disagreements we may have between us, against our enemies, who want to harm us and rise up to kill us, we must maintain our unity,” added the Israeli president.
Seven people were killed and several others wounded in a terrorist shooting attack on Friday night at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood.
Israeli security forces have since arrested dozens of suspects in connection with the attack. Many of the more than 40 people detained are relatives or acquaintances of the terrorist, 21-year-old Alqam Khayri, from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of a-Tur, who was shot and killed by police during the attack.
On Saturday morning, another Palestinian terrorist shot an Israeli father and son near the entrance to the City of David National Park adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City.
The Magen David Adom emergency medical service said the victims were treated at the scene for gunshot wounds to the upper body and then taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in serious but stable condition. The father’s condition subsequently improved to moderate.
Police said the attacker, a 13-year-old from the nearby Silwan/Shiloach neighborhood, was shot and neutralized by armed civilians. He was arrested and taken to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus for treatment.
The Kan public broadcaster identified the terrorist as Muhammad Aliyat.
“My support and trust are with the security forces, who are working night and day against terrorism. I call on everyone to remain alert and act responsibly in these times. I send my wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded and grieve with the families of those murdered,” said Herzog.
Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai on Saturday ordered the alert level in the capital raised to the highest level.
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi similarly ordered reinforcements deployed in Judea and Samaria in preparation for a possible escalation in Palestinian violence.