Jerusalem: Two Palestinian gunmen carried out two shootings in Jerusalem before police shot and killed them, Israeli police said today, shortly before US Vice President Joe Biden met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the city. A Palestinian man was seriously injured in the shootout.
The incident began when passengers on an Israeli bus spotted the two gunmen on the street and heard shots being fired, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri. No injuries were reported. A motorist responded by shooting toward the suspects, who fled by car.
Police began searching for the gunmen's vehicle. When a policeman approached a car that matched the description, the gunmen raised their weapons at the officer and he fired at them. Other police units on the scene shot at the suspects, killing them, Samri said. The shootout took place on a main road alongside Jerusalem's light rail train tracks and close to the New Gate of Jerusalem's Old City.
A Palestinian civilian at the scene was shot in the head and is in a serious, but stable condition, an Israeli hospital said. Police are investigating whether he was shot by the gunmen or police.
Police identified the two gunmen as Palestinians, both about 20 years old, from the Jerusalem area.
In the West Bank today, a Palestinian with a knife attempted to stab Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint, and
soldiers shot and killed him, the Israeli military said.
The two incidents follow a rash of Palestinian assaults yesterday, including a stabbing spree that killed an American student near where Vice President Joe Biden was meeting with Israel's former president.
Biden is in Israel for a two-day visit as part of a regional tour of the Mideast. He is meeting both Israeli and Palestinian leaders and there have been speculations he would try to revive the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.