Several people have been killed by gunfire in an Israeli settlement in east Jerusalem. A police spokeswoman spoke on Friday evening of an attack on a synagogue that killed eight people. The attacker was therefore “neutralized”. It was initially unclear whether he was killed.

According to media reports, the attacker opened fire on visitors to a synagogue. According to the Israeli rescue service Magen David Adom, several of the injured were taken to a nearby hospital. Several people are in critical condition.

The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories has deteriorated significantly in recent days. A spokesman for Gaza’s ruling Hamas said the attack was in retaliation for the Israeli army’s raid on the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday. Nine Palestinians were killed and 20 others injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers.

Today, more than 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state of Palestine with the Arab-influenced eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital.