‘Palestinian gunman kills two Israelis in West Bank’

A United Nations patrol vehicle near the Israeli border in .Kfar Kila, Lebanon.

A United Nations patrol vehicle near the Israeli border in .Kfar Kila, Lebanon.   | Photo Credit: AFP

In response, Israeli troops shut down entry to West Bank

A Palestinian gunman killed two Israelis at a bus station in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Israel’s military said, after Israeli forces killed two Hamas fugitives who had carried out attacks earlier.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said the gunman had climbed from a car at a junction near Ofra settlement and opened fire at Israeli troops and civilians standing nearby, killing two and wounding two others.

The vehicle fled toward Ramallah, he said, prompting Israeli troops to shut down entrances to the West Bank city and to begin searches and roadblocks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place near the site of a drive-by shooting on Sunday that wounded seven Israelis, including a pregnant woman. The baby was delivered prematurely, but died four days later.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Gaza-based spokesman for the armed Islamist group Hamas, hailed that attack as an “heroic and brave operation”.

In separate overnight swoops in the West Bank, Israel said on Thursday its commandos had killed the Palestinian behind Sunday's attack as well as another wanted for an Oct 7 shooting at a settlement industrial park that killed a man and a woman, both civilians.

Also on Thursday, a man stabbed and wounded two Israeli police troopers in East Jerusalem, another area where Palestinians seek statehood, and was shot dead, police said. His identity was not immediately clear.

Security coordination

The increase in violence in the West Bank looks likely to fray Israel's already strained ties with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Abbas's Western-backed authority has continued to coordinate with Israel on the issue of security in the West Bank, despite deepening rancour between Israelis and Palestinians at a political level since negotiations and broke down in 2014.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 2:08:03 PM |

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