Conflicts & War

Israeli security officer killed by Palestinian militant

Jerusalem, Aug 5 (EFE).- A municipal security officer shot Saturday in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian militant died of his wounds at a hospital in the city.

His attacker, identified as a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was pronounced dead at the same hospital hours earlier.

The dead officer, Amir Chen, and his partner pulled their motorcycles onto the sidewalk after noticing “a suspicious man” standing on a street corner near a bar in the Nachalat Binyamin neighborhood, according to the account the partner shared with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai in front of reporters at the scene.

“My partner was first, he managed to prop up his motorcycle, but at the same moment the terrorist pulled out a handgun and started shooting at my partner,” the officer said.

“I pulled out my handgun and fired at him. He also tried to fire a bullet or two at me but they didn’t hit. I chased after him and continued shooting until he fell to the ground,” the officer said.

Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, subsequently identified the assailant as 22-year Kamel Abu Bakr.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the officers “for their alertness and for engaging, thereby thwarting a much more serious attack.”

“Our security forces will settle accounts with everyone who seeks to attack us,” he said.

Islamic Jihad, acknowledging that Abu Bakr was one of their men, hailed the attack and called it “a natural response to the murders perpetrated daily by the occupation against our people on the West Bank.”

Mahmoud Mardawi, leader of the Hamas movement that governs Gaza, described the shooting in Tel Aviv as a “heroic act.”

Earlier Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that troops had created a security cordon around Burqa, a village on the occupied West Bank where a Jewish settler fatally shot a Palestinian man the day before.

Soldiers arrived in Burqa after the shooting, the IDF said, but the Palestinian Authority said that “the forces of the occupation army provided protection and support to the terrorist elements.”

The settlers tried to establish an outpost on village land and when Burqa residents confronted them, they began shooting.

Qusai Jamal Matan, 19, was killed.

Four other Palestinians were wounded and a car belonging to a Burqa resident was burned, while several Israeli civilians were injured by rocks, the IDF said.

Israeli police arrested two people from Migron, an unauthorized Jewish settlement, one of whom, according to media outlets, is a former aide to a lawmaker from National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s rightist, anti-Arab party.

“These attacks and crimes are part of an integrated official work system that oversees the utilization of settler militias to displace the Palestinians and steal their lands,” the PA foreign ministry said in a statement.

So far this year, 172 Palestinians have died in the conflict while 27 Israelis have been killed.

The United Nations has documented 591 attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the first six months of 2023.

“That’s an average of 99 incidents every month and a 39 percent increase compared with the monthly average of the whole of 2022,” Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said Friday in Geneva.

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