Arab gunmen kill 2 in Hadera on eve of historic summit

SDE BOKER, Israel – Two Arab gunmen killed at least two people and injured several others in an unusually brazen attack in northern Isra...


SDE BOKER, Israel – Two Arab gunmen killed at least two people and injured several others in an unusually brazen attack in northern Israel on Sunday evening, on the eve of a revolutionary diplomatic summit in southern Israel between senior Arab, Israeli and American diplomats.

The attack is the fourth act of terrorism in Israel in less than two weeks, and has heightened fears that the country is on the cusp of another outbreak of violence as Passover, Easter and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan are about to happen. next month in a rare convergence.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians often rise during this period, most recently last May, when Ramadan-related clashes helped lead to an 11-day war between Israel and Islamist militants in Gaza.

The nature of Sunday’s attack in Hadera, a city of nearly 100,000 people on the Mediterranean coast, was seen as particularly worrying by officials as it involved two assailants, both wielding what appeared to be heavy automatic weapons – details that involved a level of planning and coordination unheard of in other recent attacks.

The attack was later attributed to the Islamic State, according to a social media statement bearing the name and logo of a media outlet affiliated with the extremist group.

Police then circulated photographs of several other firearms and ammunition magazines they believed the attackers were carrying. The most recent incidents were knife attacksinvolving a single attacker acting apparently unassisted.

The incident occurred as US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken flew to southern Israel to join his counterparts from Israel, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Morocco for a diplomatic meeting, during which few expected the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. play a major role.

A video posted on social media showed the two attackers, both dressed in white uniforms, crossing a street and shooting at random. In a statement, Israeli police said the gunmen killed two people before being shot by a secret police unit that was in the neighborhood. Both attackers died at the scene, an Israeli official said.

Police said three officers were injured in the shooting, and emergency medical groups said they treated at least three others.

The attack prompted Naftali Bennett, the Israeli Prime Minister, to visit the scene, while Defense Minister Benny Gantz conducted an assessment with heads of the Israeli army, police force and services. domestic intelligence, officials said.

The actions of the two ministers were signs of the seriousness with which the Israeli establishment approached the attack.

Several Palestinian militant groups hailed the attack. According to a Palestinian television station, Palestine Today, a senior figure in Islamic Jihad, a Gaza-based extremist group, described the attack as a top-down response, seen by many Palestinians as a betrayal.

The first-ever working meeting on Israeli soil between senior Arab, Israeli and American diplomats, the summit aims to show Israel’s growing legitimacy in parts of the Arab world, as well as give participants the opportunity to discuss how to deal with the threat from Iran and its proxies; pressure the United States to remain proactive in the region; and also develop commercial and economic partnerships.

The participation of the four Arab countries underscored how some Arab leaders are increasingly willing to deal with Israel, even before a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a long-standing pan-Arab goal.

But Sunday night’s attack, which came as Morocco’s foreign minister arrived at the summit, served as a reminder of how diplomatic detentes between Israel and the rest of the Arab world have yet to lead to a breakthrough. in inner conflict.

In a statement released late Sunday evening, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said all participating Arab ministers condemned the attack and sent their condolences to the victims.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in the statement: “Tonight’s heinous terrorist attack is an attempt by violent extremists to terrorize and damage the fabric of life here. I extend my condolences to the families of the victims and my wishes for recovery to the injured.

He added, “The State of Israel will fight terrorism uncompromisingly, and we will resolutely stand with our allies against anyone who tries to harm us.

Rawan Sheikh Ahmad contributed reporting from Haifa, Israel, and Myra Noveck from Jerusalem.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Arab gunmen kill 2 in Hadera on eve of historic summit
Arab gunmen kill 2 in Hadera on eve of historic summit
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