April 13, 2024

Moon Desk: A Palestinian teenager fatally stabbed three Israelis in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday before he was shot and killed by Israeli forces. The Israeli Magen David Adom emergency services said three other Israelis were seriously injured during his rampage.

The person responsible for the attack, which took place near the Ariel settlement, was identified as Mohammed Souf, 19, from the town of Haris, north-west of Salfit city. The Israeli armed forces raided his home after the attack and said they were looking for a second person suspected of aiding him.

According to Israeli sources, Souf had a permit to work for technology company Intel in the Ariel Industrial Park. He stabbed several civilians at the entrance to the park then others at a nearby gas station. He attempted to flee in a vehicle but it crashed into cars on the highway. The attack lasted for about 20 minutes.

Last week, a 15-year-old Palestinian was killed during a firefight with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus and, in a separate incident, a Palestinian man died after Israeli forces fired at him near Jenin.

This year has been the deadliest for both Palestinians and Israelis since 2015. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 146 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the year, while 24 Israeli civilians and members of the security forces have also lost their lives.

No Palestinian faction immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack but some groups welcomed it.

“The rebellious youth in the West Bank strikes again and, once again, surprises the occupation in a commando attack in the northern West Bank,” said Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem.

“The attack confirms the continuation of the blessed uprising of revolutionary youth in defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque and in response to the occupation’s crimes. It’s a continuation of the revolution’s march until the goals of our people are achieved.”

Mustafa Barghouthi, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative party, told Arab News that the attack was “a direct result of the aggressive policy of Israel and the crimes it committed against the Palestinians.” He added that 45 children were among the 146 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces this year.

“This is a reaction to the results of the Israeli elections in which the Israelis elected racist extremists,” he added. “This shows that (Israeli) repression and abuse will not stop the Palestinian resistance.

“There is no way for peace and calm except by ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: “We are fighting terrorism relentlessly and with the full force of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), the (internal security service) Shin Bet and all the security forces.

“We have recently succeeded in dismantling broad infrastructures and organizations but we have to wage this war every day anew. Our security forces work around the clock to protect the citizens of Israel and attack the terrorist infrastructure anywhere and anytime.”

The attack on Tuesday took place a day after Palestinian authorities said Fullah Al-Masalmeh, a 16-year-old girl, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in the town of Beitunia, west of Ramallah. She was traveling in a car with her brother, who was later arrested by security forces. EU and UK authorities called for an immediate investigation into the girl’s death and for those responsible to be held accountable.

Since the start of the year, the IDF has rounded up hundreds of Palestinians across the West Bank, injuring dozens and demolishing several houses.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry welcomed a decision by the US Department of Justice to open an investigation into the murder of Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid. The Palestinian Authority accuses Israeli forces of deliberately shooting the veteran reporter.

The ministry said “the decision, even though it came late, reflected the conviction of the American side in the absence of any serious Israeli investigations,” a failure it described as “nothing more than an attempt to cover up criminals and murderers.”

In a separate incident on Tuesday, Israeli settlers attacked and damaged Palestinian vehicles with stones near the village of Burin, south of Nablus.

Palestinians are concerned about a possible escalation in attacks by settlers amid high tensions in the region, especially in the areas around Salfit following Tuesday’s knife attack.


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