JERUSALEM – Israeli police arrested at least three Palestinian suspects Sunday in connection with a deadly shooting at a Jerusalem checkpoint, as security forces searched for the suspected gunman.
The shooter opened fire on a military checkpoint in east Jerusalem late Saturday, killing a female Israeli soldier and wounding three other soldiers, one of them seriously. The Israeli military identified the soldier as 18-year-old Noa Lazar.
It was the latest bloodshed in the deadliest violence in the region in seven years. It also came less than a day before Israel was to begin celebrating the weeklong Sukkot holiday, a time when tens of thousands of Jews visit the holy city.
Police said a large force of officers, soldiers and Shin Bet security agency operatives were involved in the search to apprehend the Palestinian attacker.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid offered condolences to Lazar's family. “We will not be silent and we will not rest until we bring the abominable killers to justice," he said.
The attack came hours after two Palestinian teenagers were killed during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank. A day earlier, two other Palestinian teenagers, ages 14 and 17, were killed by Israeli fire in separate incidents elsewhere in the West Bank.
Rights groups accuse Israeli forces of using excessive force in their dealings with the Palestinians, particularly young men, without being held accountable. The military says it contends with complex, life-threatening scenarios.
Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not recognized internationally. It considers the entire city, including east Jerusalem, home to the city’s most important holy sites, to be its capital. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem for the capital of a future state with the West Bank and Gaza Strip.