(Photo credit: Times of Israel)
Nine Israeli settlers were injured early on 14 August, after a Palestinian gunman opened fire towards a bus and two vehicles in occupied east Jerusalem, media reported.
Initial reports by Hebrew media suggested that there were two separate attacks. However, it was later clarified that the shooting was carried out by a single attacker, who fled the scene after firing around 10 shots within 10 to 15 seconds.
Shortly after the shooting took place, Israeli troops blocked the Al-Buraq wall, preventing all settlers from leaving the area.
According to Palestinian sources, the Israeli occupation forces stormed the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, dispatching drones over the area in search of the gunman. He was identified as 28-year-old east Jerusalem resident, Amir Sidawi.
Six hours after launching a full-scale manhunt in search of Sidawi, Israeli media announced that the Palestinian attacker was detained. He reportedly arrived at Moriya police station by cab, still holding the gun he used in the shooting, and “turned himself in.”
The cab driver was questioned by police, and Sidawi was handed over to Israel’s Shin Bet security service, where he was questioned to determine potential affiliation with the Palestinian resistance factions.
In a statement following the shooting, Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum referred to the attack as “a natural response to the Occupation’s and Zionist settlers’ daily crimes against our people, our country, major Muslim and Christian sites, and constant desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“This heroic and unique operation shows that the resistance front will press ahead with its measures in al-Quds,” Barhoum added.
In recent months, Palestinians have ramped up retaliatory attacks against Israeli forces and settlers in response to continued violent raids by Tel Aviv’s forces, and ongoing provocative incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by extremist settlers.
Tensions have escalated even further since Israel’s unprovoked airstrikes on the Gaza Strip last week, which left dozens of civilians dead, including 17 children.
In his first public statement after the three-day barrage on the Gaza Strip, interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that “the State of Israel will not apologize” for the civilian deaths.
For several months, Israel has been in a state of alert due to the success of several operations against it by both the Palestinian resistance and lone-wolf attackers.
Following the shooting on 14 August, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Tel Aviv is in a highly “sensitive security situation” as a result of the aftermath of the events in Gaza, as well as Hezbollah’s recent promises to protect Lebanese natural resources from Israel.