West Bank: Two Israelis shot and killed, settler leader says



Two Israeli settlers were shot dead in the West Bank on Sunday, in what local settler leader Yossi Dagan called a “very serious terrorist attack”. The shooting triggered retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, killing at least one and injuring several.

The shooting of colonists took place in Huwara, south of Nablus At least 11 Palestinians were killed days after a major Israeli military raid in Nablus, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in search of wanted terrorists.

The residents killed on Sunday have been named as Hillel Menachem Yaniv (21) and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv (19), the local residents’ council said.

“We embrace the family and will be with them as long as necessary,” said the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council. Council leader Yossi Dagan said they were from Har Bracha settlement.

Video from the scene shows their car crossed a median, and collided with a vehicle going in the other direction, suggesting they were shot while driving.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said two Israeli men were taken to hospital after the attack, but later died, the Magen David Adom Medical Agency said. The IDF added that it was chasing the attacker.

Another local resident leader said he was present when the two were shot.

“The shooting happened right behind me. It looked terrible – the shooting was from point blank range,” said Shai Alon, the head of the Beit El Council, adding that Israel “needs to wage war against those who want to harm us.”

Hours after the incident, Israelis killed at least one Palestinian man and wounded several others with stones or iron bars in and around Huwara, Palestinian doctors and the health ministry said Sunday night.

The ministry said Sameh Hamdallah Mahmoud Aktash (37) was shot in the stomach and killed in the town of Zatara, between Huwara and the Israeli settlement of Kafar Tapuach.

In Huwara itself, at least one person was stabbed and another attacked with an iron bar, the Palestinian Red Crescent said. The emergency service also reported that its ambulances had been attacked, and said that Israeli military forces had blocked three ambulances from entering the city.

One person was treated for a minor injury to the face from a metal rod, and another was treated for a skull fracture from a head injury from a stone, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Two Palestinian firefighters said about 50 residents threw stones at their fire engine, injuring them as they tried to respond to a fire at a Palestinian house in Huwara, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. given The Red Crescent also said it had dealt with around 100 cases of smoke inhalation.

Social media video that CNN has geolocated of Huwara shows several dozen Israeli residents walking down a main street as at least three roadside fires burn. Other pictures and videos circulating on social media show the fire burning in the town.

The Palestinian Authority Presidency accused residents of Hawara, Burin, Enabs and other areas under the protection of Israeli occupation forces of committing “terrorist acts”, resulting in over 100 Palestinian injuries and the burning of shops, houses. , cars and other public property.

Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid accused Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the settler-based Religious Zionism Party, of being responsible for the violence..

Linking the events to talks on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in Jordan earlier in the day, Lapid tweeted: “Smotrich’s militia prepared to burn Hawara to torpedo Netanyahu’s summit in Aqaba and [Defense Minister Yoav] brave This government is dangerous to the security of Israel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement urging Israelis not to engage in revenge attacks for the killings of Hillel and Yagel Yaniv earlier in the day.

“I ask – even if the blood is boiling – not to take the law into your hands. I ask that the IDF and security forces be allowed to do their job. I remind you that in recent weeks, they have targeted dozens of terrorists and foiled dozens of attacks,” Netanyahu said.

The IDF said it assessed the situation on Sunday night, with Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi pictured sending reinforcements to the West Bank.

The IDF is sending reinforcements to the West Bank “to thwart terrorist attacks and prevent violent riots,” it said on Sunday night.

The “riots” — an apparent reference to settlers carrying out revenge attacks against Palestinians — “are being handled by the IDF, Israeli fire and rescue services, Israeli border police and additional security forces,” the IDF said.

On Sunday night, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi visited the site where the Yaniv brothers were shot, the IDF said, and “reinforced the area with additional forces to thwart terrorist attacks and prevent violent riots.” ordered, while intensifying and expanding efforts to apprehend terrorists.”

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack on the Israeli brothers, but Lions Den vowed revenge after Wednesday’s raid in Nablus.

Six of those killed there were members of the Palestinian militant group, which emerged in the city last year.

“As big as the pain that fills Nablus, the occupation will taste twice the pain,” the group said, referring to Israel. “They will know that the fighters of the honorable groups in Nablus will not take a step back.”

Samaria Regional Council head Dagon called for Israel to break off ongoing security talks between Israel and the Palestinians brokered by Jordan, Egypt and the United States after Sunday’s killings, “I demand that the prime minister, the defense minister and all ministers Returned the delegation from idle talks in Aqaba…. We need to launch a campaign against terrorism!”

After rare talks on Sunday, Israeli and Palestinian representatives “reaffirmed their commitment to all previous agreements between them, and to work for a just and lasting peace,” they said in a joint statement.

Senior Jordanian, Egyptian and American officials attended the summit in Aqaba at the invitation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The joint statement said both sides reaffirmed the need to commit to reducing tensions at the grassroots level and preventing further violence.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority reaffirmed their “joint readiness and commitment to work immediately to end unilateral measures for a period of 3-6 months. This includes halting any discussion of new settlement units for 4 months and for 6 months.” “Includes an Israeli commitment to stop the authorization of any outposts,” the statement read.

The five parties agreed to convene again in March in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

“Jordan, Egypt and the United States consider these agreements a major step towards re-establishing and deepening relations between the two sides, and to assist and facilitate their implementation,” the statement said. are committed.”

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