NAfter two attacks in East Jerusalem and another attempted attack in the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a “strong” response. The response will be strong, quick and precise, Netanyahu said on Saturday evening before an emergency security cabinet meeting to deal with the situation after the terrorist attacks: “We are not aiming for an escalation, but we are prepared for any scenario.”
On Saturday evening, a man fired a shot at a restaurant near the West Bank city of Jericho, according to the Israeli military. It was the third incident in 24 hours. Media reported that the perpetrator subsequently had problems with his weapon. This may have prevented further shots – and victims. Footage from a surveillance camera is said to show that the attacker was armed with an assault rifle. Armed forces are currently looking for the man. So nobody was injured.
Police arrest at least 42 suspects
Unlike an attack in the morning. A 13-year-old Palestinian man shot and wounded a father and son in an Israeli settlement in the Silwan district of east Jerusalem. The police spoke of a “terrorist attack”. Armed passers-by finally shot the boy, who was then given medical attention.
The night before, an attack on visitors to a synagogue that left seven dead caused horror. According to initial findings, the attacker on Friday in the Israeli settlement of Neve Yaakov was a 21-year-old from East Jerusalem. He was shot trying to escape. The police arrested at least 42 suspects – relatives and neighbors of the assassin. It was not immediately known what they were charged with.
Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live there today. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state of Palestine with the Arab-influenced eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and many other international politicians condemned the attack. “Germany stands by Israel’s side,” said von Scholz. “My heart breaks at the news of the terrible terrorist attacks on Shabbat in Jerusalem,” said Israeli President Izchak Herzog.
Saudi Arabia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, also said it condemned “any attacks on civilians”. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on both sides to exercise “extreme restraint”. Many Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, on the other hand, reacted to Friday’s terrorist attack with celebrations, including the radical Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon welcomed the attack. The Palestinian leadership said in a statement that Israel was “fully responsible for the dangerous escalation. 31 Palestinians have been killed so far this year. The people, including several youths, died in connection with military operations and their own Attacks.
On Thursday, nine people were killed in a raid by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, including members of the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad. It was one of the deadliest military operations in the Palestinian Authority in years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again called on his compatriots not to take the law into their own hands, but to let the army, the government and the security forces do their job. The far-right police minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, had previously called for citizens to be “better armed to avoid such attacks”. Ben-Gvir is considered a political arsonist and has already been convicted of racist hate speech and supporting a Jewish terrorist organization.
According to media reports, tens of thousands of people across the country protested against the new ultra-right government and its planned reforms in the judicial system on Saturday evening. Demonstrators lit candles to commemorate the victims of terror. They also observed a minute’s silence for those killed. Some observers are warning of the end of Israeli democracy in view of the planned reform. Some demonstrators also criticized the country’s treatment of the Palestinians. “There is no democracy under occupation,” read a sign.