At least five people were killed on Tuesday, March 29, in armed attacks on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel, Elie Bin, director of Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross, told the Kan chain.
In the evening, residents of Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox city on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, then in the neighboring city of Ramat Gan, reported a man who opened fire on passers-by, killing four people first.
Israeli police confirmed these attacks and later said the assailant had been shot and killed by security forces patrolling these areas. The fifth victim is a 32-year-old Arab Israeli officer who participated in the operation to kill the assailant. He was qualified as “quite” by the police.
The attack was not immediately claimed. But local media identified the shooter as Dia Hamarshah, a Palestinian who had spent four years in Israeli prisons and came from Yaabad on the occupied West Bank. In this city, witnesses told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that men handed out sweets in the evening as a “party” after the attacks.
The police were inserted in force in Bnei Brak, where Itamar Ben Gvir, one of the leaders of the Israeliest right, moved according to AFP journalists on site.
Police put in “fight terrorism” mode
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a rare condemnation of the attacks. ‘The killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians only exacerbates the situation as we all strive for stability’, he said in a statement sent by the official Palestinian agency Wafa. This violence “Reaffirms that a permanent, comprehensive and just peace is the shortest path to ensuring the security and stability of the Palestinian and Israeli people”he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that senior security officials would meet in the evening to take stock of the situation. ‘The security forces are at work. We want to fight terrorism with an iron fist. Israel faces a wave of deadly Arab terrorism », remarked Mr. Bennett. Police said they were on high alert and in “fight against terrorism”.
This is the third deadly attack in Israel in a week. The previous two were committed by Israeli Arabs affiliated with the jihadist movement and killed a total of six people.
On Sunday in Hadera in northern Israel, two police officers, including a French-Israeli, were killed in a shooting claimed by the Islamic State organization (EI). Israeli police have identified the attackers who were shot as Israeli Arab ISIS operatives. Following the attack, the Palestinian armed Islamist movements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad paid tribute to a “heroic operation”. Hamas, the ruling group in the Gaza Strip, considered it one “natural and legitimate response to the occupation” and to “crimes” of Israel.
On March 22, in Beersheva (south of the country), four Israelis – two men and two women – were killed in a stabbing and assault, committed by a man inspired by IS ideology. The assailant who died was a teacher who in 2016 was sentenced to four years in prison for planning to travel to Syria to fight in IS and for having preached his apology.
Relieves tension as Ramadan approaches
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned this “recent terrorist attacks” in Israel and called for an immediate end to the violence. “Such acts of violence can never be justified and must be condemned by all”said the UN chief.
Germany has warned of one “spiral of violence”while the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said “firm” condemn this attack “terrorist”. “This violence is unacceptable. Israelis, like all people around the world, should be able to live in peace and without fear. “he said in a statement.
This new attack, near Tel Aviv, comes at a time when meetings are rising in an attempt to ease tensions as Ramadan approaches, the Muslim fasting month, which is due to begin at the end of the week.
In 2021, clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters during Ramadan in Jerusalem, especially on the mosque esplanade, a Muslim holy site under the administration of Jordan, had led to a deadly eleven-day war between Hamas, in power in Gaza, and the Israeli army. .
In an attempt to ease the situation during Ramadan, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Amman on Tuesday ahead of a similar visit on Wednesday by Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
In front of Mr. Gantz called the king “to remove any obstacle to the prayer of the Muslims on the esplanade of the mosques [à Jérusalem-Est] and to prevent provocations that could lead to escalation ”.