At least two people were killed and six were left injured in a drive-by shooting attack in Jerusalem on Sunday, 9 October. The assailant was shot dead by after a brief police pursuit, officials said.

The incident took place near Israeli national police headquarters, which is close to the line dividing the Palestinian East Jerusalem from the Jewish section of the city. The assailant reportedly started firing from a car at people waiting at a tram stop and drove off. He was then chased by the police on motorcycles. The attacker also fired at police.

A spokesperson for the police said: "When the terrorist spotted the police he fired at them, and they managed to shoot and kill him."

Police said that the attacker was a 39-year-old Palestinian man from the neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

Over the last year, at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans lost their lives in attacks by Palestinians, who would often act alone with basic weapons. In the same period, at least 220 Palestinians have been killed in incidents in the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza strip. Out of those, officials say 144 are attackers while others were killed in protests or clashes.

Hamas praised the attack saying that it is "natural response to the crimes of the occupation".

The incident comes at a time when there is an increase in the number of Jewish visitors to the flashpoint of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound for the holiday of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The site is holy to both Jews and Muslims, who call it Haram al-Sharif.

Israeli riot police
Israeli riot policemen secure the area following a shooting incident in what an Israeli police spokesperson described as a terrorist attack, in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun