JERUSALEM (Transatlantic Today) — On Friday, Israeli military personnel took part in a broad manhunt for 2 Palestinians suspected of killing 3 Israelis in a stabbing spree in Tel Aviv.
The stabbing, which occurred on Israel’s Independence Day, was the latest in a string of violent attacks carried out deep within the nation in recent weeks. According to ABC NEWS, violence at a significant religious place in Jerusalem holy to Muslims and Jews had already intensified Palestinian-Israeli tensions.
Authorities said they were looking for 2 suspects, aged 19 and 20, from Jenin, in the controlled West Bank, which has resurfaced as a terrorist stronghold in the new wave of attacks, which has been the bloodiest Israel has witnessed in years. Several assailants have originated from Jenin or the surrounding area, and Israeli soldiers have carried out arrest operations that have sparked gunfights.
A horrific scene was described by medics in Elad, an ultra-Orthodox town near Tel Aviv. Four people were injured, one severely, in addition to the 3 killed.
Oren Ben Yiftah, Boaz Gol, and Yonatan Havakuk, 3 men in their 30s and 40s with 16 children, were among those slain, according to Israeli media. On Friday, there will be funerals.
Ben Yiftah, a 35-year-old father of six, was from Lod. Yair Revivo, the mayor of the city, described it as a “great tragedy.”
On Thursday, Israel celebrated its Independence Day, a joyous national holiday celebrated with barbecues and air shows.
The West Bank blockade, implemented before the holiday to deter Palestinians from infiltrating Israel, has been prolonged until Sunday, according to Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
State Secretary Antony Blinken condemned the “horrific attack” on “innocent women and men” in Washington.
The incident was also criticised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose administration governs autonomous regions in the Israeli-controlled West Bank and comply with Israel on security.
The Gaza Strip’s controlling Palestinian extremist group, Hamas, hailed the strike and connected it to bloodshed at the Jerusalem sacred site.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque complex is Islam’s third holiest place, and it is located on a hilltop that is also the holiest location for Jews, known as the Temple Mount. It is at the conflict’s emotional center, and Israeli forces and Palestinians have battled there several times in recent weeks.
Jews are permitted to visit but not pray at the shrine under informal agreements described as the status quo. They have been visiting in ever-increasing figures with armed escorts in recent years, and many have quietly prayed, angering Palestinians along with Jordan, the site’s custodian. The Palestinians have generally suspected that Israel intends to take control or split the site.
Israel insists on preserving the status quo, accusing Hamas of provoking the current bloodshed.
In five assaults since March, at least 18 Israelis have been slain, including a stabbing spree in southern Israel, 2 shootings in the Tel Aviv region, and a shooting this weekend in a West Bank community.
Around 30 Palestinians have been killed in violence, the majority of them were involved in assaults or clashes with Israeli police in the West Bank. However, an unarmed lady and 2 onlookers were also killed, and human rights groups claim Israel frequently uses brutal force.
A year ago, Hamas and Israel waged an 11-day war, driven in part by rioting in Jerusalem.
In the 1967 Mideast battle, Israel took east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, including Al-Aqsa and other key holy sites precious to Muslims, Christians, and Jews. The Palestinians want their future state to include all three areas. Over a decade ago, real peace discussions broke out.