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US ambassador condemns fatal Jerusalem shooting

The U.S. ambassador to Israel condemned a fatal shooting in Jerusalem on Thursday as a “terrorist attack.”

“Abhorrent terrorist attack in Jerusalem this morning. We unequivocally condemn such brutal violence,” Ambassador Jack Lew posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “My thoughts are with the families of the victims and I offer my sincere condolences to all those affected.”

Jerusalem police said two gunmen opened fire on a crowded bus station at the entrance of the city, killing at least three people and wounding several others, The Associated Press reported. Both gunmen — armed with a handgun and M16 rifle — were killed on the scene by nearby soldiers.

Israel Police posted on X that that the two shooters were from East Jerusalem. However, it not clear whether the gunmen were acting on their own or as members of a Palestinian militant group.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog mentioned the shooting ahead of his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, also calling the incident a “terror attack.”

“And I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the families, and of course to pray for the swift recovery of the wounded,” Herzog said. “This is another example of the situation we’re in, the endless war that we are fighting against terror organizations, especially Hamas, in these very complicated and challenging times.”

Blinken said he shared Herzog’s sentiment, adding that his heart “goes out to the victims of this attack.”

“We’re thinking of them; we’re thinking of their families, their loved ones,” he said. “And we mourn their loss just as we mourn the loss of any innocent life.”

The news came just as Israel and militant group Hamas reached an agreement to extend their temporary cease-fire in Gaza by one more day in an effort to release more hostages.

In total, 73 Israelis — including dual nationals — and 24 foreign nationals have been freed during the truce, as have more than 200 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, all women and teenagers.

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