(JNS) A female Israeli soldier died of her wounds following a shooting attack on Saturday night at the Shuafat checkpoint in eastern Jerusalem.
The Israel Defense Forces idenitified her on Sunday morning as 18-year old Sgt. Noa Lazar, a member of the Military Police’s Erez battalion who was raised in Bat Hefer.
Lazar, a corporal, was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.
A security guard, 30, was shot in the head and seriously injured in the incident. He was taken to Hadassah Medical Center and underwent surgery overnight, the hospital said. On Sunday morning, he remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit, sedated and ventilated.
A third Israeli was lightly wounded.
The Israel Police said in a statement that an assailant began shooting as he approached the crossing, while another opened fire from a passing vehicle.
Israeli forces launched a manhunt to apprehend the perpetrators and on Sunday morning conducted a raid on the Shuafat home of the suspected lead terrorist, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
Police said that three people have been arrested in connection to the attack, although the primary assailant has not yet been detained. The identity of the attacker is known, according to Jerusalem Police Chief Doron Turjeman.
“Significant forces are out, working day and night to defend the citizens of Israel,” said Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a statement, adding: “My heart is with the wounded and their families. Terror will not defeat us. We are strong, even on this difficult evening.”
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, which is affiliated with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack, Kan reported.
Meanwhile, Shuafat residents reportedly set off celebratory fireworks and distributed candy to children in the streets following the attack.
The incident comes amid heightened alert in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria over the Jewish holiday season, and on the backdrop of a months-long wave of Palestinian terror.
On Friday, Lapid held a security assessment ahead of the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which begins Sunday night. The heads of numerous security agencies participated in the meeting, during which they discussed the sensitive situation on the Temple Mount.
In an incident earlier Saturday in Jenin, IDF forces conducting an arrest of a wanted terrorist became ensnared in a firefight in which two Palestinians were killed and at least 11 others injured, according to the P.A. Ministry of Health.
“I am alarmed by the deteriorating security situation, including the rise in armed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” said the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, in a statement Saturday night.
He noted that since the beginning of the year, at least 100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli operations primarily in P.A.-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. Over the same period, 16 people have been killed inside Israel in terrorist attacks by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.
“I urge, and remain actively engaged with, Israeli and Palestinian authorities to restore calm and avoid further escalation,” Wennesland said.
For his part, far-right Otzma Yehudit political party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir expressed pessimism following the attack.
“Sadly, the [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz Intifada is already here—as attack follows attack without a serious Israeli response,” he said. “Gantz has exposed himself as a leftist, continuing a policy of capitulation towards the enemy while the Israel-haters rub their hands with glee. They see Gantz opening his hand (and home) to arch-terrorist (P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas) while tightening his fist against Jewish communities in Judea.
“The nation is tired of weak and feckless decision makers who undermine the safety of IDF soldiers and leave Israelis feeling like sitting ducks to terror,” Ben-Gvir concluded.
This is a developing story.