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The Jerusalem shooting - January 2023

Written by Ella Rowe

Edited by Annika Lilja


Overview

On January tenth, 2023, the internationally recognized Holocaust remembrance day, 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.


History

Dating back to well before the establishment of Israel in 1948, Israelis and Palestinians have combated over what they both consider to be sacred land. When the country of Israel was established in 1948, as a direct result of the Holocaust, conflict arose. Today, different regions have been devoted as territory for Palestinians, such as the West Bank and the Gaza strip. However, this has not solved the tension between these two groups.


This Event

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, and Ukrainian 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.


Conclusion

Whether this shooting was an act of rage against the Israeli government, or simply Jewish people, the 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. 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.”


 

Sources


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.


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/.


“Jerusalem Synagogue Shooting: Israel Arrests 42 after Deadly Attack.” BBC, BBC News, 27 Jan. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-64430491.









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