Conflicts & War

Four killed, several injured in shooting near Israeli settlement

Jerusalem, Jun 20 (EFE).- Four Israelis were killed and four others were wounded Tuesday in a shooting at a gas station near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The two Palestinian assailants – at least one of them a member of the Islamist group Hamas – were also killed.

The attack comes a day after a deadly Israeli army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin left at least six Palestinians dead and dozens more injured after clashes that lasted nine hours.

Tuesday’s incident, in which the assailants opened fire on a restaurant and gas station near the settlement of Eli, is the highest Israeli death toll from a single attack since January.

Israeli emergency services initially treated eight wounded on the ground, with four pronounced dead following unsuccessful resuscitation attempts. The remaining injured were rushed to hospital.

Meanwhile, one of the attackers, a 26-year-old, was shot dead by an Israeli civilian at the scene. Hamas, which issued an initial statement praising the attack, later confirmed that he was a member of its armed wing, the Al Qasam Brigades, and had been previously imprisoned by Israel.

The other attacker escaped the scene in a stolen vehicle, and after a search he was located and shot dead by Israeli forces in the vicinity of the town of Tubas.

“During the attempt to arrest the suspect, he tried to escape from the car, was shot and neutralized,” the Israeli army, Border Police and Internal Intelligence Service said in a joint statement.

A spokesman for the Israeli army said that both attackers were members of Hamas. “The resistance will continue its attacks and will respond with full force to the crimes of the Zionist occupation,” said the group.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement also welcomed the attack, which it said “falls within the context of the exercise of the legitimate right to self-defense” and is a “natural response to the escalation of crimes” by Israel “against the Palestinian people”.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met on Tuesday afternoon with the Army Chief of Staff and other senior members of the security apparatus to assess the situation, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said.

This is one of the deadliest Palestinian attacks so far this year after seven Israelis were killed in January in a shooting outside a synagogue in East Jerusalem. EFE


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