Violence escalates in the West Bank

By June 22 2023, 11:00 Latest News No Comments
Magen David Adom: איתמר כרמון

Magen David Adom: איתמר כרמון

Violence continued to escalate in the West Bank this week as two Palestinian terrorists shot four Israelis dead including two teenagers, and wounded four others outside a restaurant and petrol station near the settlement of Eli on Tuesday. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

The victims were identified as Nachman Mordoff (17) from Ahiya, Elisha Antman(18) from Eli, Harel Masoud (21) from Yad Binyamin, and Ofer Fairman, (63) from Eli.

One terrorist was killed at the scene by an armed civilian and the second was killed later on by the IDF in Tubas having stolen a car to flee the scene.

On Monday, the IDF launched a targeted raid in Jenin, killing five terrorists as part of “Operation Breakwater” – the ongoing IDF effort to curb terrorism in the West Bank. Two Palestinian teenagers, both 15, were also killed in the operation. 90 were left wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Hamas declared that the attack on Tuesday, was in response to Monday’s raid in Jenin. The raid utilised helicopters which have not been used in operations for over two decades. The helicopters were deployed following the launch of an IED by Palestinian militants, wounding IDF soldiers.

Following on from the attack, approximately 200 settlers torched and stoned Palestinian property in the West Bank town of Turmus Aiya. Around 30 homes and 60 vehicles were destroyed in the attack, according to Army Radio. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that one Palestinian was killed in the attack, and 11 others injured with gunshot wounds. United Haztalah confirmed that two had been injured by police fire, after a Palestinian attacked officers and firefighters responding to the scene.

The IDF condemned the attack on Turmus Aiya , labelling it a distraction from the prevention of terrorism and protection of Israeli citizens. Shin Bet has arrested three Israelis so far for their part in the attack on Palestinians.

Hamas released a statement on Wednesday warning that the attacks “will not intimidate our heroic Palestinian people and will be met with more steadfastness and resistance”.

On Wednesday, three Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Jalameh Checkpoint on, north of Jenin. The terrorists were killed in their car via drone strike in the first targeted killing in the West Bank since 2006. The Shin Bet and IDF reported that the cell were responsible for a number of attacks north of the West Bank barrier. Three assault rifles were found in the car. Two of the gunmen, including a 17-year old, have been claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as their fighters, with one a commander of a local wing. The third attacker has been identified as a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, an umbrella militia connected to the Palestinian Authorities ruling Fatah party.

Since the beginning of this year, the Shin Bet has recorded 147 “significant” attacks by Palestinian terrorists, encompassing shootings, bombings, car rammings and kidnappings – with a further 375 foiled.

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