The incident, the second attack in Jerusalem in four days, occurred near one of the gates to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam. Jews revere the site as the remnant of two ancient temples.
Hamas identified the gunman as one of its leaders in East Jerusalem, among the areas where Palestinians seek statehood. Unlike the more moderate Palestinian Authority, which governs in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, refuses permanent coexistence with Israel. Britain on Friday banned Hamas, bringing London’s stance in line with the United States and the European Union.
“On a morning like this one can draw support from the [British] decision to designate Hamas – including what is called its political wing – as a terrorist organisation,” Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett told his cabinet. Sunday’s attack also wounded a second civilian and two Israeli police officers, police said. The dead civilian was identified as a recent Jewish immigrant from South Africa.
Israel captured the Old City and other parts of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed them as its capital in a move not recognised internationally.