Conflicts & War

Palestinian killed after shooting Israeli security officer

Jerusalem, Aug 5 (EFE).- A Palestinian man who shot a municipal security officer in Tel Aviv on Saturday died at a hospital in the city of wounds received when the officer’s partner returned fire, Israeli authorities said.

At last report, the wounded security officer was in surgery.

The two motorcycle-mounted officers pulled onto the sidewalk after noticing “a suspicious man” standing on a street corner near a bar in Tel Aviv’s 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.

Shabtai described the shooter as a 27-year-old Palestinian who was carrying a “martyrdom” letter: a note attesting the author’s intention to die in the course of striking at the enemy.

Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, subsequently identified the assailant as Kamel Abu Bakr, 22, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

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 an 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.

“Israeli settlements are illegal under international law,” he said.

Roughly 700,000 people live in settlements in the occupied West Bank – which includes East Jerusalem – and the Golan Heights, seized by Israel in 1967 in the Six-Day War. EFE yo/dr

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