Palestinian kills 1 Israeli in attack near Jerusalem holy site

(Fox News) A Palestinian militant fatally shot one Israeli and wounded four others in Jerusalem, then was shot dead by a Palestinian policeman before he was able to detonate his explosive vest.

The incident, near a disputed Jerusalem holy site at Temple Mount, happened Sunday afternoon and prompted Israel to tighten security around the complex.

Israeli security forces did not shoot the gunman, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to criticize police for not allowing the assailant to be neutralized, and say they should reconsider whether the officer did what he should have done.

Palestinian leaders claimed the gunman had a permit to carry out the attack.

“After a thorough investigation, we determined the terrorist had been granted the permit and that he had received it from a terrorist organization,” Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevy said.

The Israeli army confirmed it was investigating reports that the gunman was a resident of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. He said Sunday’s attack shows the need for a negotiation to resolve the conflict, The Associated Press reported.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement calling the attack “reprehensible” and expressing its condolences to the families of the victims.

A security source tells Fox News that video footage indicates that the police officer opened fire immediately after the shooting began, before the assailant was able to actually detonate his vest.

Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, said the attacker was the son of a member of the group.

“What happened today is a just response to the continuing assaults in Jerusalem and Jerusalem and Jerusalem is the heart of the Muslim nation and part of its historical foundations,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

The extremist group called for a demonstration outside a Gaza police station in response to the attack.

The Jerusalem attack was the latest in a string of near-daily confrontations between Israel and Palestinians in the capital. More than 50 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes.

Muslim authorities in Jerusalem and Israel say Israel has confined Jews to a small area of the Old City, fearing it could inflame tensions in a holy site holy to Jews and Muslims. Last week, Israel gave Jewish visitors easier access to the plaza.

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