At least three people were killed and eight others were hospitalized Thursday morning after two Palestinian gunmen—who’d formerly been arrested on terrorism charges—opened fire at a bus stop just outside Jerusalem, Israeli officials said.
The attack unfolded during rush hour, with the gunmen allegedly using an M-16 rifle and a handgun to carry out the assault before they were shot dead themselves by a pair of off-duty soldiers and an armed citizen, authorities said.
“The terrorists began shooting at civilians before subsequently being killed at the scene,” Israeli police said. Hamas later claimed credit for the attack and praised the suspected gunmen as “heroes” and “jihad-waging martyrs,” the Times of Israel reported.
Israeli authorities said the suspects arrived at the scene by a car coming from East Jerusalem. Terrifying security footage of the incident shows two men hop out of a white car with their rifles drawn by a busy bus stop. The attackers then run toward the crowd which scatters, with the Palestinians being gunned down themselves within 40 seconds.
Authorities identified the gunmen as Murad Nemer, 38, and Ibrahim Nemer, 30, residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher. Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said the brothers were former Hamas members who’d been jailed as recently as 2020 for unspecified terror activity.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the suspects’ homes would be demolished. Police announced earlier in the day that six of the brothers’ family members, including their parents and other siblings, were arrested, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The slain Israelis were identified by local media as Livia Dickman, 24, rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman, 73, and Hannah Ifergan, a woman in her 60s.
“This attack is further proof for our commitment to continue fighting with strength and determination against the murderous terrorism that threatens our citizens,” Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, wrote on X.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is visiting Tel Aviv Thursday, said the attack in Jerusalem was another reminder “of the threat from terrorism that Israel and Israelis face every single day.” He added that his “heart goes out to the victims of this attack.”
The killings come even as Israel and Hamas extended their ceasefire for a seventh day Thursday in order to allow more hostages to be released and more aid to enter Gaza. Israel has stipulated that Hamas release at least 10 hostages per day for the truce to remain in effect. So far, the militant group has released 97 hostages.