A Palestinian gunman shot and killed an Israeli taxi driver Thursday and then was shot and killed by Israeli police while riding in a taxi that was at a checkpoint at the entrance to the Israeli city of Jerusalem, Israeli police said.
The Israeli counterterrorism unit was interrogating a security guard at the time of the shooting, police said.
Israel Radio reported that the Palestinian used a petrol bomb that had been filled with nails and glass. Police said a tire of the car was set on fire before the gunmen fired at the taxi, which was headed to Jerusalem. The driver died of his wounds and two others in the car were not hurt.
The army identified the gunman as a 29-year-old from East Jerusalem. Israeli media reported that the gunmen were members of the Palestinian extremist group Islamic Jihad.
The Islamic Jihad group said it was behind the attack, and described the killing as a revenge killing. The group also called for Palestinian attacks against the Israelis to continue.
Over the last three decades, Israelis have survived a steady stream of gun attacks by Palestinians. Most of the attacks, known as lone wolf attacks, have been carried out by Palestinians who were disillusioned by the lack of progress in achieving Palestinian statehood, and other deep-seated grievances. They have mostly occurred during times of unrest, with the deadliest act coming in September 2014, when a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed eight Israeli students in a West Bank settlement.
Throughout the conflict, Israel has used its military to quell militants in the West Bank. But the number of attacks has dropped dramatically in recent years, partially due to better security in Israel and elsewhere. Thursday’s attack is the first in the West Bank in about two years.
In response to the attack, Israeli soldiers fired an illumination bomb at the two attackers, including the gunman who was armed with a home-made gun. The bomb was not believed to have caused significant damage.
A low-intensity, three-week wave of violence erupted in October in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The violence has led to nine fatalities, including five Israelis, and has brought the level of instability in the region back to levels not seen since the 2014 war between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas in Gaza.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government would continue to act against “those who perpetrate attacks against Israelis” and that Israel would “hunt down” those behind the shooting.
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.