Scene of the incident
Scene of the incidentYonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Jerusalem District Prosecution Service has issued an indictment against Amir Al-Sidawi, a 26-year-old Jerusalem Arab, who has admitted to committing a shooting attack last month in the Old City of Jerusalem. Eight people were wounded in the attack including two seriously - a 38-year-old woman who was pregnant at the time and whose baby was delivered at 26 weeks, and a man in his forties. The baby survived but needed emergency treatment including mechanical ventilation and will likely face health consequences in the future.

According to the terms of the indictment, in May of this year the terrorist acquired a gun and rounds of ammunition. Around a month ago, when he was still under house arrest under restrictive conditions, he headed to the Old City with the gun and ammunition as well as a knife, intending to commit a terrorist attack.

The terrorist initially approached a restaurant, but when he saw several police officers in the vicinity, he decided to head to a different location. He ended up in the Kever David parking lot near King David's Tomb where he noticed a large number of Jews waiting at a bus stop. He shot at them at close range.

The indictment also notes that after fleeing the scene, the terrorist shot at the driver of a private car and the bullet wounded the man's pregnant wife. Al-Sidawi then fled to the Silwan neighborhood just outside the Old City walls where he abandoned his cell phone but held onto his gun and knife.

Al-Sidawi stands accused of committing acts of terrorism with intent to murder, causing grievous bodily harm with aggravated intent, illegal possession and carrying of a weapon and a knife, and other related crimes. The Prosecution is demanding that he be held in custody until the conclusion of proceedings against him.

Al-Sidawi, meanwhile, is claiming that his crimes were due to a "personal crisis" he was undergoing at the time. He did not have a terrorist background prior to the attack but he had previously been convicted of violent crimes involving clan warfare. He was sentenced to remain in prison until August, 2023 but the Prisons Service authorized his early release, against the objections of police who argued that he still posed a danger to the public.