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Palestinian Attacker Kills 2 Israelis in Jerusalem

Israeli police secures the scene where a Palestinian gunman was shot dead in Jerusalem, Oct. 9, 2016.

A Palestinian opened fire from a car in Jerusalem Sunday killing a woman pedestrian and a police officer, and wounding six other people before being shot dead by police, law enforcement and emergency services said.

The United States condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms, a State Department statement said. "There is absolutely no justification for the taking of innocent lives. We also condemn the statements glorifying this reprehensible and cowardly attack," the statement said.
Police identified the assailant as a 39-year-old Palestinian from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of of Silwan.

The Israel Prisons Service said the attacker had been convicted of assaulting a police officer and was ordered by a court to start a four-month jail sentence next week.

Authorities say the gunman opened fire from his car at a group of people near a police station, leading to a police chase while the attacker continued to fire. Police were able to return fire, killing the man.

Israeli police have been bracing for an increase in aggression during the Jewish high holidays. Rosh Hashanah was last week. Yom Kippur begins Tuesday.

More than 200 Palestinians and 34 Israelis have been killed in an upsurge in violence in the past year.

Israel blames the violence on a campaign of incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders.

Palestinians say the violence is the result of frustration due to decades of occupation.