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Three wounded in Tel Aviv, three dead in the West Bank

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A Palestinian gunman opened fire on a crowded street in central Tel Aviv, wounding three people before he was shot and killed, Israeli officials say.

The shooting came hours after an Israeli military raid killed three Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank.

The incidents on Thursday were the latest violence in a year-long wave of Israel-Palestinian fighting that shows no signs of slowing.

The Tel Aviv shooting occurred on Dizengoff Street, a popular thoroughfare filled with shops and restaurants. The city was filled with people on Thursday night, the start of the Israeli weekend, and as anti-government protests were taking place.

The MADA rescue service said one of the wounded was in critical condition, while Zaka, another medical service, said the shooter was killed.

An image on social media showed what was believed to be the attacker standing in the middle of the road as he pointed a pistol. Dozens of police and rescuers rushed to the scene, which was quickly cordoned off.

Earlier on Thursday, three Palestinian militants were killed in a shootout with Israeli troops in the northern West Bank.

Israeli security forces said they raided the village of Jaba to arrest suspects wanted for attacks on Israeli soldiers in the area. The suspects opened fire on Israeli troops, who shot back and killed three people, all affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, police said.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the men as Sufyan Fakhoury, 26, Nayef Malaisha, 25 and Ahmed Fashafsha, 22, and said they were shot by Israeli fire during the military operation. A fourth man was hospitalised with a bullet wound to the head, authorities added.

Israeli police released a photo of assault rifles, pistols, ammunition and explosive devices they said troops confiscated in Jaba, just south of the flashpoint city of Jenin. Gunmen shot down an Israeli drone during the clashes, the military said.

The Jaba militant group, a fledgling militia of disillusioned young Palestinians who have taken up guns against Israel’s occupation, said members opened fire and hurled explosive devices at Israeli forces from a sedan — that now sits, smashed and bloodied, in the centre of town. Residents said Israeli troops killed members of the group who had been recently incarcerated by Israel and had carried out a recent shooting attack at a nearby checkpoint.

This year has been marked by escalating unrest across the West Bank, as Israeli arrest raids spiral into protracted firefights with armed Palestinians.

On a visit to Israel, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters that he discussed concerns over the upsurge in violence in the occupied West Bank with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

The United States was “urging everyone to de-escalate,” the defence secretary said, particularly in the run-up to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which coincides this year with the Jewish holiday of Passover.

“The US remains firmly opposed to acts that could trigger further instability, including settlement expansion and inflammatory rhetoric,” Austin said, adding that he was “especially disturbed” by settler violence against Palestinians. “We will continue to oppose actions that put a two-state solution out of reach.”

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Article source: Canberra Times

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000