Shooting attack near illegal Jewish settlement in occupied West Bank

Al-Jazeera  /  July 6, 2023

Israeli army says suspect ‘neutralized’ after incident close to the Kedumim Jewish settlement in northern west Bank.

At least one person has been critically wounded in an alleged shooting attack near an illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli emergency services.

The Israeli army said the assailant had opened fire at security forces who had stopped to inspect his vehicle, which they found suspicious, near the Kedumim settlement on Thursday. He then fled the scene before he was tracked down and “neutralized”, it added.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan said the assailant opened fire at an Israeli security guard near the settlement.

The identity of the attacker was not immediately clear.

Speaking from the occupied West Bank, Palestinian politician Marwan al-Barghouti said the recent incident was likely a response to the Israeli assault on Jenin which has left “terrible destruction”, affecting homes and infrastructure.

“They meant to cause harm. In addition to that, they shot at ambulances, people providing first aid, and journalists. It was a horrible attack and it left a very deep scar,” said Barghouti.

“The Palestinians are very angry about what has happened. And what we are seeing is simply a response by individuals,” he said referring to the shooting.

Barghouti added that the Palestinians were also deeply disappointed and angry at the Palestinian Authority (PA) over its security coordination with Israel and lack of sufficient response to the assault.

The alleged shooting followed Israel’s two-day military offensive earlier in the week on Jenin, further north.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said 12 Palestinians, including three children, were killed in the Israeli army’s aerial and ground operation in the densely populated Jenin refugee camp.

At least 120 others were wounded, including 20 who remain in critical condition, while some 3,000 were forced to flee their homes.

Hamas, the Palestinian group that runs the besieged Gaza Strip, praised Thursday’s shooting which it said was a response to the Jenin raid.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian attacker in Tel Aviv wounded seven people in a car-ramming and stabbing attack before an armed civilian shot him dead.