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Gunman opens fire in Jerusalem Jewish seminary

Gamma Ray

Aug 16, 2004
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A gunman opened fire on people inside a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem on Thursday, killing at least eight, police and rescue officials said. Video from the scene showed a frantic crowd of rescue workers carrying bloodied victims into ambulances. Dozens of police officers were scouring the campus and surrounding streets.
Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said the attacker "opened fire on innocent youngsters studying. A number of students have been killed."
Israeli police and ambulance officials said eight people were killed by the attacker, who was shot dead. Seven people were injured, five of them seriously, according to medics.
Israeli police officer Aharon Franko said: "One terrorist came carrying a box. He took out a long weapon and started on a killing spree."
Watch the immediate aftermath of the attack »
CNN's Ben Wedeman in Gaza reported celebratory shooting shortly after the attack.
The attack comes in the wake of a large-scale Israeli offensive in Gaza that began last week and killed more than 100 people.
Fawzy Barhoom, a spokesman for Hamas, which controls Gaza, said the attack was a response to what he called the Israeli aggression and occupation of Gaza.
But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a written statement, "The Palestinian Authority condemns any attack on innocent civilians."
The attack was carried out on the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood of west Jerusalem. It is one of the largest seminaries in Israel, with about 500 students in the yeshiva and 200 in an advanced graduate program.
In terms of fatalities, it is the worst attack inside Israel since April 17, 2006, when a suicide bombing outside a Tel Aviv falafel restaurant killed nine people.
Attacks in Jerusalem are rare. Last year, eight people were wounded August 10 in the Old City when a Palestinian resident grabbed a security guard's gun and fired, and four Israeli security guards were wounded May 26 when two Palestinian gunmen began firing in east Jerusalem. All three of the assailants were killed.
Earlier Thursday, the military wing of Islamic Jihad said it killed an Israeli soldier and wounded three others in what it called a revenge attack.
The Israeli military confirmed the casualties, saying the soldiers were on patrol along the Gaza border Thursday morning when a roadside bomb exploded.
Islamic Jihad said the attack was in revenge for the death earlier this week of one of its senior leaders. Israel said two other militants were also killed in Tuesday night's incursion into Gaza, near Khan Yunis.
In a separate attack, one person was injured when a rocket struck a home in the Israeli town of Sderot, Israeli ambulance officials said.
Israel has staged a series of military operations into Gaza over the last week in an attempt to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets from the Palestinian territory into Israel.
More than 100 Palestinians have died during the operations. Two Israeli soldiers were also killed.
Witnesses said explosions rocked a border area east of the Gaza village of Garara, setting an Israeli army jeep on fire. Israeli troops, on the lookout for attackers, regularly patrol the border.
Separately, the Israeli military confirmed an airstrike on armed militants in northern Gaza.
The violence came a day after Abbas said he will heed calls to renew peace talks with Israel, an about-face from earlier Wednesday when he said Palestinians wouldn't return to the table before reaching a cease-fire.
The turnaround came as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem, and as the Israeli Security Cabinet approved further military action against Hamas and other militants launching rockets into Israel from Gaza.
The "peace loving" Palestinians were celebrating in the streets upon hearing the news of the shootings...:cmad:
What a depressing community front page this morning. :waa:
I've read several articles on this, and have seen the phrase "Palestinian gunman" used in nearly every one. Somehow, though, I haven't come across the term "Islamic terrorist." Interesting...

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