The funeral of the victims of the attack that killed five people in the Jewish-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak on Tuesday night began Wednesday. This is the third such attack in a week.
Israel on Wednesday began burying its dead and tracing relatives of a Palestinian who carried out an attack that killed five people near Tel Aviv, the third in a week in the country, raising fears of a new “wave” of violence .
On Tuesday night, a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank opened fire on crowds driving through the Jewish-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak and the neighboring city of Ramat Gan before being shot and killed by security forces. The attack killed five people, including two Ukrainian workers who arrived in Israel before the latest wave of refugees in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and an Israeli Arab policeman, Amir Khoury, who took part in the operation to shoot down the assailant and marked one ” completely “by the government.
On Wednesday, the funerals of the other two victims, Yaakov Shalom and Rabbi Avishai Yehezkel, took place in Bnei Brak. Yehezkel “had been married a year and a half ago, he had a two-year-old son and his wife was pregnant,” David Numa, one of his relatives, told AFP. The bodies of the two Ukrainians, whose identities have not been confirmed, are to be repatriated to their country, while the policeman’s funeral speech from the town of Nof Hagalil near Nazareth (north) is scheduled for Thursday.
“Abyss of hatred”
In the wake of the attack, the army deployed reinforcements in the occupied West Bank and multiplied the arrests on Wednesday, especially by family members of the author of the attack, Dia Hamarshah, a Palestinian from the northern West Bank village of Yaabad, after spending four years in Israeli prisons. The armed Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip but also with supporters in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank, welcomed the attack, albeit strongly condemned by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the United Nations, France, the United States and especially Egypt.
Earlier this week, Mahmoud Abbas spoke with the King of Jordan, the country responsible for Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, in the hope of avoiding excesses during large gatherings in the holy city during the fasting month of Ramadan. which is due to start this week. weekend. In addition, Israeli President Isaac Herzog traveled to Jordan on Wednesday to meet with King Abdullah II. “The fact that Muslim leaders are meeting Jewish and Israeli leaders is an alternative to the abyss of hatred,” the Israeli president said on the spot, according to his services.
Last year, clashes in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian part of the holy city occupied by Israel, led to bloody clashes on mosque esplanades and then to an 11-day war between Hamas and Israel. “Israel is facing a wave of deadly Arab terrorism,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, referring to the two previous attacks, on March 22 and Sunday, committed by Israeli Arabs linked to the jihadist movement.
In a statement released Wednesday night, he urged Israelis with weapons not to go out without them. He also reported “more than 200 interrogations and arrests”. US President Joe Biden told Naftali Bennett on Wednesday that “the United States (stands) firmly and resolutely with Israel in the face of (the) terrorist threat and all threats to the state of Israel,” according to the White House.
From Hamas to the Islamic State group?
If the war last year opposed the Jewish state to Hamas, this time the authorities also fear seeing attacks inspired by or associated with the jihadist organization Islamic State.
On Sunday in Hadera in northern Israel, two policemen were killed in a shooting that IS claimed. Police identified the attackers who were shot as Israeli Arab ISIS members from Umm al-Fahm, an Arab city in northern Israel. On March 22, in Beersheva, a large city in the southern Negev desert, four Israelis were killed in a stabbing and car-ramming committed by a teacher who in 2016 was sentenced to four years in prison for planning to travel to Syria for to fight for ISIS.
On Wednesday, police also announced the arrest of an 18-year-old in Rahat, Negev, suspected of being a member of IS.