A South African man was killed during an attack by Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Eliyahu David Kay, 26, was a tour guide in Jerusalem, according to the SA Jewish Board of Deputies. He was shot while on his way to pray and later died in Hadassah Hospital.
“Our heartfelt condolences go to his parents, Avi and Devora Kay, his fiancé and his family and friends in Israel and South Africa. May his memory be a blessing,” the board of deputies said.
Three more people were wounded in the attack by the Hamas militant. He was shot dead by authorities, Israeli officials said.
AFP reported that those wounded included police officers and civilians. They were taken to hospital.
Kay, an immigrant from South Africa, was employed as a guide at the Western Wall plaza. The immigration ministry said he had gone to Israel in 2019.
His funeral was set to take place on Monday morning in Jerusalem.
Police in Israel said the attacker had fired a “Carlo-type weapon”, a type of submachine gun.
After the shooting, dozens of police officers were deployed on the narrow streets of the historic walled city, as workers hosed pools of blood from the cobblestones, said an AFP reporter.
The Old City is in the Israeli-annexed eastern part of Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as the capital of their future state.
Israel captured and occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, in a move not recognised by most of the international community.
Meanwhile, rightwing lawmakers from opposition parties were organising a march on Sunday through the site of the attack and holding prayers at the Western Wall.
Israel’s Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said the attacker was a Palestinian living in the Shuafat neighbourhood in east Jerusalem.
“He was a member of Hamas, the political branch, not the armed wing,” Bar-Lev told Israel’s Kan television channel, saying the gunman’s wife had travelled abroad three days ago, while his son was also out of the country.
“It seems that this attack is premeditated,” Bar-Lev said.
Police identified the man as a 42-year-old east Jerusalem resident.
Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, identified the attacker as Fadi Abu Shkhaydam. It congratulated him and hailed the “continuation” of the fight to “liberate” Jerusalem.
But Hamas did not specifically claim the attack, which came six months to the day since the end of an 11-day war in Gaza with Israel in May.
In a recent sermon, delivered in a Jerusalem mosque, viewed by AFP, Abu Shkhaydam accuses Israelis of being oppressors “financed by Satan and the United Arab Emirates”, the Gulf monarchy that normalised ties with the Jewish state last year.
On Friday, Britain said it intended to follow the United States and European Union in placing an outright ban on Hamas as a ‘terror’ group, saying it was not possible to distinguish between the Islamists’ political and military wings.
Attacks targeting Israeli security forces are common in the Old City as well as in the occupied West Bank. They are often carried out by individual, young Palestinian men in so-called lone wolf attacks.
Under international law, an occupied nation has the right to resist its occupiers.
On Wednesday, Israeli security forces shot dead a 16-year-old teen, who stabbed and wounded two police officers in the Old City. The Jewish Hanukkah holidays begin on 28 November.
Some 200 000 Israelis live in occupied east Jerusalem, alongside 300 000 Palestinians.