Amir Sidawi, the man who carried out a shooting terror attack in Jerusalem turned himself over to security forces on Sunday morning after searches for him carried on through Saturday night, an Israel Police spokesperson said in a statement.
The suspect is a resident of east Jerusalem with a criminal past and was taken in for questioning. He still had his gun with him when he turned himself in and the security forces confiscated it. Later in the day, his arrest was extended until next Monday. A relative of the suspected terrorist was also arrested on Sunday and his arrest was extended until Tuesday.
At least eight people were wounded - two severely and five mildly and moderately, and a baby delivered by emergency C-section who is in serious but stable condition - in a shooting attack targeting a bus near King David's Tomb near the Western Wall on Saturday night.
Last night, a terrorist shot at a bus in Jerusalem wounding 8 people, including a pregnant 30 year old woman and a 60 year old man who are in critical care. We pray for their full recovery.This attack on Israel's capital, a city sacred to all three religions, must be condemned. pic.twitter.com/1XAYZBVSe9— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) August 14, 2022
One of the wounded was a pregnant woman in her 30s who was shot in the stomach and is in serious condition. She underwent surgery at Shaare Zedek Medical Center during which the baby was delivered in an emergency C-section. The baby was reported to be in serious condition but stable.
According to the report, four of the injured belonged to the same family and are part of the hasidic Satmar sect and were visiting Israel from Williamsburg, New York.
A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Jerusalem confirmed that US citizens were among the victims of the terrorist attack, but had no further comment on the matter.
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted that he "strongly condemn[s] the terrorist attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem. I am praying for a quick recovery for all of the innocent victims."
"Jerusalem is stronger than any event and we will not allow any terrorist to harm the routine of life in the public space"Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion
Police closed off the Old City, blocking both entry and exit into the area and to the Western Wall plaza. Police helicopters were also operating in the area to aid the search for the suspected terrorist. The search continued for around six hours, before the terrorist turned himself over to security forces.
In the hours following the attack, police forces entered the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, located south of the Temple Mount, in search of the shooter.
*MDA Spokesperson, Zaki Heller:* At 01.24 a report of a shooting was received in MDA's 101 Jerusalem Region emergency dispatch center of a shooting towards a bus. *Initial reports only!!!* MDA EMTs and Paramedics are treating 2 patients in serious condition. Updates to follow pic.twitter.com/EIsjWsXL7Z— Magen David Adom (@Mdais) August 13, 2022
“I parked the car near the house and heard gunshots and screams.”Yosef Chaim HaCohen, United Hatzalah paramedic
On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Yair Lapid met with Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev and Chief of Police Kobi Shabtai for an update on the security situation.
ראש הממשלה לפיד שוחח עם השר לביטחון הפנים בר-לב, מפכ"ל המשטרה רב-ניצב שבתאי, ומפקד מחוז ירושלים ניצב דורון תורג'מן, בעקבות פיגוע הירי בירושלים. רה"מ לפיד עודכן בהתפתחויות האחרונות ובהמשך ההיערכות בשטח. רה"מ הודה לכוחות הביטחון על פעילותם המאומצת והמהירה, שהובילה להסגרת המחבל.— ראש ממשלת ישראל (@IsraeliPM_heb) August 14, 2022
Yosef Chaim HaCohen, a paramedic with United Hatzalah who lives near the scene, stated, “I parked the car near the house and heard gunshots and screams. The neighbors ran to me and shouted 'terror attack.’”
MDA paramedic Shimi Grossman said: “This was a bus that left the Western Wall with worshipers heading toward the city. According to a passerby, a terrorist began to shoot indiscriminately toward the bus. When I arrived there was a great commotion, people ran in panic, MDA teams treated and evacuated a 30-year-old man and a 45-year-old man in serious condition, a 30-year-old woman in serious condition, a young man about 20 years old in moderate condition and 4 injured in mild condition.”
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum praised the attack as a courageous act of resistance, calling it “a natural response to the occupation and the settlers and their daily crimes against [Palestinians].”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid
"The Security forces are working to catch the hateful terrorist and won't stop until he's caught," said Prime Minister Yair Lapid. "Let it be known that everyone who tries to harm us will pay a price for harming civilians."
Lapid added that "Jerusalem is our capital city and the center of tourism for all religions. The police and the IDF are working to restore the quiet and the feeling of safety in the city."
He added by sending wishes of a speedy recovery to those who were injured in the shooting.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz
There was a bad terror attack in Jerusalem tonight," said Defense Minister Benny Gantz. "Security forces are working in the field and will catch the terrorist and his accomplices. I'm praying together with all Israel's citizens for the recovery of the wounded."
The attack comes about a week after the launch of Operation Breaking Dawn and amid threats by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist movement to attack Israel if hunger-striking prisoner Khalil Awawdeh is not released.
The last terrorist attack reported in Jerusalem took place in mid-July when a Palestinian stabbed a man in his 40s on a bus near Ramot junction.
Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion
Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion arrived at the scene of the attack, where he convened with the police commissioner, Chief Superintendent Yaakov Shabtai and district commander Doron Turgeman, who informed him about the details of the incident, Ynet reported.
According to the report, Lion said that he “trusts the Israeli police and the security forces to lay hands on the despicable terrorist tonight,” adding that “Jerusalem is stronger than any event and we will not allow any terrorist to harm the routine of life in the public space. The capital of Israel will continue to be a city full of life, happy and vibrant.”
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Sunday condemned the attack, saying, “Our Ambassador to Israel and US officials in Jerusalem are in touch with the families of the US citizen victims, to whom we have offered our sympathies and support,” according to Reuters.
“Our team in Jerusalem has been working around the clock to support the victims and their families, and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Price added.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland responded to the attack on Sunday morning, saying he denounced the attack, and wishing the wounded a speedy recovery.
"It is deplorable that Palestinian factions continue to glorify such attacks, which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and Israelis," he said via Twitter. "I urge all to condemn violence and stand up to terror."
This is a developing situation. Walla News contributed to this report.