JERUSALEM ( Associated Press) — A week after violence erupted between Israel and extremists in Gaza, a gunman opened fire on a bus near Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday, wounding eight Israelis in a Palestinian attack , the police and doctors said.
Two of the victims, a pregnant woman with abdominal injuries and a man with gunshot wounds to the head and neck, are in critical condition, according to staff at the Israeli hospitals where they are being treated.
The attack took place while the bus was waiting in a parking lot near the Western Wall, which is believed to be the holiest place for Jews to pray.
Israeli police have announced sending experts to the scene to launch an investigation. For their part, Israeli security forces entered the Palestinian neighborhood of Silvan in search of the attacker.
Tensions between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank lasted for a week after the attack in Jerusalem.
Last week, Israeli warplanes launched an offensive against the Gaza Strip, where it targeted the Islamic Jihad extremist group, and began three days of intense cross-border fighting.
Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of missiles in response to the airstrike, killing two of its commanders and other extremists.
Israel said the attack was aimed at neutralizing threats to respond to the arrest of a senior member of the extremist group in the occupied West Bank.
49 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured, including 17 children and 14 extremists, in the conflict, which ended thanks to an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire.
No Israelis were killed or seriously injured.
Hamas, the Islamic extremist group that controls Gaza, remained neutral.
A day after a ceasefire halted the worst round of fighting in Gaza in more than a year, Israeli troops killed three Palestinian extremists and wounded dozens during an arrest operation in the West Bank city of Nablus.