Israeli security guard shot dead in attack on West Bank settlement
Jerusalem, Apr 30 (EFE).- An Israeli security guard was shot dead in a drive-by shooting attack on a settlement in the occupied West Bank, officials said on Saturday.
The Israeli military said assailants arrived at the entrance to the city of Ariel late on Friday and shot at a security guard in the guard post.
The guard in his 20s was pronounced dead at the spot due to gunshot wounds, Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom (MDA) said.
A CCTV footage showed the assailants came in a car, opened fire on the guard, and fled away from Ariel – one of the largest settlements on the West Bank.
The Israeli security forces were conducting search-and-seizure operations to arrest the suspects.
The security forces closed several roads in the area.
The Islamist group Hamas, which de facto rules Gaza, praised the attackers, describing it as a “heroic” action before the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.
Hamas said it was part of the Palestinian “revolution” against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
The incident occurred amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Between the end of March and April, several attacks in Israeli territory have left 14 dead.
At least 30 Palestinians lost their lives as Israeli security forces carried out arrest operations amid rising violence in the West Bank.
More than 40 people were injured in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the final Friday of Ramadan.
According to Israeli police, officers entered the compound and used “riot dispersal means” after Palestinians threw rocks and fired fireworks.
Local witness reports say police used tear gas and rubber bullets. Officers also arrested at least two people.
Later in the morning, the situation quietened, and worshipers arrived for midday prayers calmly, said the police.
Throughout Ramadan, clashes between young Palestinians and the Israeli police have taken place each Friday – the day tens of thousands of worshipers from across the region arrive in Jerusalem for midday prayers.
The Al-Aqsa mosque compound, within the walls of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, is the third holiest place in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who call it Temple Mount.
It is a symbol of the Palestinian cause and one of the epicenters of the Palestine-Israel conflict.
Attacks by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers, security forces, or settlers often occur intermittently in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War. EFE