Palestinian gunman shoots 5 at Maaleh Adumim restaurant before being shot dead


(JTA) — A Palestinian gunman shot and wounded five people at a hamburger restaurant in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim before a policeman shot him dead.

One man was seriously injured and four had moderate wounds in the terror attack on Tuesday afternoon, the Times of Israel reported. An off-duty policeman getting a haircut at a barbershop in the same shopping area shot the shooter as he tried to get away.

“When I arrived at the scene I found several people who were injured with gunshot wounds,” Meir Bogot, a local volunteer with the United Hatzalah first responder service, said in a statement emailed to reporters. “Together with additional first responders, I provided them with initial treatment which included bleeding control and bandaging, after which they were all transported to the hospital.”

Maaleh Adumim, one of the larger settlements in the central West Bank, functions as a Jerusalem suburb. The attacker, a cleaner, had permission to enter the settlement.

The Times of Israel said the attacker was from the nearby Palestinian town of al-Azariya.

The shooting comes after more than a year of increased Israeli-Palestinian tensions, spurred by a period of stabbing attacks on Israelis in the spring of last year and  followed by a series of deadly Israeli raids seeking terrorists in Palestinian West Bank cities, as well as continued Palestinian terror attacks.

The deadly violence has intensified since the beginning of this year, leading to the deaths of dozens of Israelis and more than 100 West Bank Palestinians.

The escalation in violence comes as Israel’s government, which is led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and includes far-right partners, has moved to expand West Bank settlements. Groups of settlers have also rioted in Palestinian West Bank villages, burning cars, crops and buildings and injuring civilians.

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