Israeli forces killed three Palestinian militants in a firefight within the occupied West Financial institution early Saturday, police mentioned, elevating fears of additional escalation of violence in the course of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Israeli media mentioned 4 members of a police counter-terrorism unit of the Israeli police have been wounded, one in every of them critically. The troops got here beneath hearth as they tried to arrest suspected militants within the northern West Financial institution.
“This can be a terrorist cell that has been concerned in terrorist exercise towards safety forces not too long ago, and was apparently on its strategy to one other assault,” the police assertion mentioned.
Tensions have soared in current days after Palestinian assailants killed 11 Israelis in separate assaults throughout the nation. Saturday marks the beginning of Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer and spiritual devotion for lots of of thousands and thousands of Muslims all over the world. Within the Israeli-Palestinian battle, Ramadan has usually been a interval of elevated friction and confrontation.
On Tuesday, a Palestinian gunman shot lifeless 5 folks within the Israeli metropolis of Bnei Brak earlier than he was killed by police. The taking pictures raised to 11 the variety of folks killed by Arab attackers in Israel inside every week.
Israeli forces shot lifeless three Palestinians in West Financial institution clashes on Thursday and Friday and a Palestinian stabbed a passenger on an Israeli bus close to a Jewish settlement and was shot lifeless by one other passenger.
The safety scenario is escalating. Whereas lots of the current assaults focused police or navy forces inside Jerusalem’s Outdated Metropolis, the latest stabbing focused an Israeli out for a jog in a preferred neighborhood exterior the Outdated Metropolis. Two of the three assaults previously week focused civilians.
Israel’s safety alert standing has been raised to its highest degree. Which means police are way more seen on the streets, working longer shifts and focusing their presence on colleges and fashionable gathering spots.
Troop presence within the West Financial institution hand across the Gaza strip has additionally elevated, with the Israel Protection Forces (IDF) saying they’re including 14 battalions and fight troopers from particular forces models. Troopers who carry a sure class of weapon may also be required to take their weapons with them even whereas on go away, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett mentioned.
Palestinian militant teams have praised the assaults and referred to as for additional motion, particularly in response to raids within the West Financial institution and violence from Jewish settlers.
Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, mentioned in an announcement: “The continual crimes of the occupation portend a complete explosion, which might be extra highly effective and extra painful, during which our folks might be concerned in all elements of our occupied land.”
Abu Hamza, the navy spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, introduced “the elevating of full readiness amongst our fighters in all navy formations.”
The overlap of three main non secular holidays over the subsequent month — Ramadan, Passover and Easter — may heighten tensions additional, exacerbating a potent combine of things that might spark yet one more cycle of violence.
Printed on: Saturday, April 02, 2022, 10:57 AM IST