Two civilian security officers and a border policeman were shot dead and another Israeli seriously injured after a shooting attack in Har Adar on Tuesday morning.
The border police officer has been identified as First Sergeant Solomon Gavriyah, aged 20.
The attack occurred outside Har Adar, a settlement close to Jerusalem that lies between Israel and the West Bank.
Police said that the assailant, identified as 37 year old Palestinian Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal from the nearby village of Bayt Surik, arrived at the rear entrance of the community just before 07:00. Arousing suspicion he was questioned prompting him to open fire before being shot and killed by police officers at the scene. Initial reports suggest that the attacker used a handgun reported stolen from an Israeli citizen more than two years ago.
The Shin Bet security service said the assailant did not have a known history of involvement in terrorist activities and possessed a permit to work legally in the West Bank. However, he reportedly had a history of domestic violence and his wife recently fled to Jordan.
Chen Filipovitz, the head of the local council, told Channel 2 News: “Our workers and security coordinator worked as needed. It was not inside the community but at the gate where workers enter. There are hundreds of workers who enter every day to work in Har Adar and the surrounding communities.”
Terrorist attacks by Palestinians holding legal work permits are rare. 75,000 workers and 20,000 businesspeople hold permits, and recently the Government accepted a recommendation from the IDF to increase the number of Palestinian workers permitted to enter Israel by 30,000.
Israeli President Reuvin Rivlin said: “Such a brutal terror attack once again shows the daily frontline on which our security forces stand, charged today with the most important mission – the safeguarding and defence of the citizens of Israel. We will continue to confront terror, and will reach all its perpetrators and supporters.”
Hamas praised the attack and issued a statement saying: “Once again Jerusalem proves that it is at the heart of the conflict with the occupation, and that there is no way to get it out of the equation of the conflict.”
Since September 2015, 53 Israelis, a Palestinian man, two visiting Americans, an Eritrean man and a British student have been killed in a wave of attacks by Palestinian assailants, mainly in stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks.