Written by Ella Rowe
Edited by Annika Lilja
On the internationally recognized Holocaust remembrance day, January tenth, 2023, 7 Jewish people were left dead and 3 wounded in a fatal shooting at a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel. Ultimately, the Palestinian gunman was captured by Israeli police forces and shot to death. Immediately following this shooting, residents of the West Bank and the Gaza strip initiated celebrations: distributing candies, honking horns, and firing guns into the air to the dismay of the victims, and victims’ families.
Dating back to well before the establishment of Israel in 1948, Israelis and Palestinians have combated over land. When the Jewish land was established in 1948, as a result of the Holocaust, conflict arose in Syria. Today, different regions in Israel have been devoted to the controlled territory for Palestinians, such as the West Bank and the Gaza strip. However, this has not solved the tension between these two groups.
At 8:15 pm, the attack started and the gunman escaped the premises. Within 5 minutes, the police force captured the lone attacker. When authorities arrived, 5 of the 7 victims had died and the remaining 2 died on the way to the hospital.
One of the 7 victims was a Ukrainian citizen, in which President Zelensky sent his condolences to the state of Israel and those mourning. Another is a 14-year-old boy named Natan Mizrahi. This shooting in Jerusalem was the most lethal attack since 2011 and preceded another shooting on Saturday, January 11th in which two Israeli citizens were wounded, instigated by a 13-year-old Palestinian boy.
42 suspects, including that of the gunman's family, were arrested according to the police. The attacker was also a relative of a 17-year-old Palestinian who died due to a clash with Israeli forces.
In an attempt to promote defense mechanisms, Prime minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced that he would be advancing firearm licensing in Israel. He publicly endorsed on Facebook, “Firearm licensing will be expedited and expanded in order to enable thousands of additional citizens to carry weapons.” Netanyahu also made the executive decision to send more Israeli troops into the West Bank territory as a way to prepare for any upcoming scenarios.
Whether this shooting was an act of rage against Israel or simply Jewish people Jew's ongoing battle against antisemitism is not only prevalent but on the rise. Just over 5 years ago, a paralleled antisemitic attack occurred in a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that similarly left 11 Jewish people dead. Both in America and in Israel, Jewish people fear for their lives as they are baffled by the idea of risking their lives simply to attend religious services. The horrors of this attack are heightened due to the fact that it happened on a day commemorating the loss of 6 million jews’ lives. As United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “‘It is particularly abhorrent that the attack occurred at a place of worship, and on the very day we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day.’”
Fabian, Emanuel. “The 7 Victims of Jerusalem Terror Shooting Named; Include Teen and Synagogue Sexton.” The Times of Israel, Times of Israel, 28 Jan. 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/additional-victims-of-jerusalem-terror-shooting-idd-as-14-year-old-boy-father-of-3/.
BBC News. “Jerusalem Synagogue Shooting: Israel Arrests 42 after Deadly Attack.” BBC, BBC News, 27 Jan. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-64430491.
Breiner, Josh, and Jonathan Lis. “Israel Seals off Home of One J'lem Shooter, Orders Same for 13-Year-Old Assailant.” Haaretz.com, Haaretz, 29 Jan. 2023, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-01-29/ty-article/.premium/israel-seals-off-home-of-jerusalem-synagogue-shooter-in-preparation-for-demolition/00000185-fc3f-def6-a7b5-fd3f65600000.