Hamas gunman kills French man in attack on east Jerusalem street

One man has been killed and four other people were injured in a shooting attack by a Hamas gunman on a crowded street in east Jerusalem, in which police shot and killed the assailant.

Palestinians have been planning several attacks since the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks in April, and Israeli officials have warned that Palestinians could try to destabilise the Jewish state by striking in its heartland, particularly as summer approaches and the school year begins.

Some of the victims were a French family sitting in a car. Most of the others were believed to be security guards.

Israeli police chief Roni Alsheich said the gunman, identified as a 24-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank, opened fire on a group of security personnel guarding a building at the Arnona neighbourhood in east Jerusalem, which houses Arab neighbourhoods not far from the Old City.

The Palestinians blamed the attack on Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967.

The fatality was a 21-year-old French man, shot in the chest, police said. The four other victims were Israeli security personnel who were returning to their buses from a nearby street after helping evacuate the wounded and had been stabbed, and police said they were very seriously injured.

Several injured people were taken to hospital and the street was closed off with police forces securing the area.

The Israeli defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said the attack was part of a “global process of terror”, and in a Twitter message called on Palestinian political factions to calm tensions.

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