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Middle East conflict: Two attempted attacks in the West Bank – Israel wants to take action against “families of terrorists”.


A Palestinian killed seven people in East Jerusalem on Friday, and two more attacks in the West Bank have now failed. The Israeli government announced that it would make it easier for civilians to own guns.

Enlarge image

Mourning for Eli and Natali M., who were killed in an attack in Jerusalem on January 27

Photo: Atef Safadi/EPA

Israel's security cabinet has decided on new measures to combat terrorism after two terrorist attacks in East Jerusalem that left seven dead and five injured.

The security cabinet announced on Sunday night that "families of terrorists who support terrorism" would cut welfare.

The government will also discuss a draft law that would provide for the relatives concerned to be deprived of their Israeli ID cards.

It was initially unclear whether and how it should be checked whether someone supports terrorism.

The ministers also agreed that civilians should be able to obtain gun licenses more easily.

"If civilians have weapons, they can defend themselves," right-wing extremist Minister for Internal Security Itamar Ben Gvir said before the security cabinet's deliberations.

On Friday night, a 21-year-old gunman shot visitors to a synagogue, killing seven and wounding three others before being killed by police after a chase.

Also on Saturday, a 13-year-old boy attacked two men in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian seriously injured father and son.

Armed passersby finally shot the boy, who was then given medical attention.

Two incidents in the West Bank

In two incidents in the West Bank on Saturday night, gunmen tried to carry out further attacks on Israelis.

According to the army, security guards prevented an attack in the settlement of Kedumim west of the city of Nablus.

They would have discovered and "neutralized" the "terrorist."

It was initially unclear whether the attacker was dead.

Another man fired a shot at a restaurant near the city of Jericho and fled the scene, according to the Israeli military.

Media reported that he had problems with his gun.

This may have prevented further shots and casualties.

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.

"My heart breaks at the news of the terrible terrorist attacks on Shabbat in Jerusalem," said Israel's President Izchak Herzog.

In addition to western states, several Arab countries also condemned the attacks on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Saudi Arabia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, said it opposed "any attacks on civilians."

Russia also called on the parties to the conflict to exercise “the greatest possible restraint”.

"A further escalation of tensions" must be prevented, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken wants to try to de-escalate the situation in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Monday and Tuesday.

42 people arrested for questioning

According to the Israeli police, 42 people were arrested for questioning.

The security forces were on the highest alert level.

The army plans to increase its troop numbers in the West Bank.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday that the houses of the suspected masterminds would be demolished.

The Palestinian leadership issued a statement saying Israel was "fully responsible for the dangerous escalation."

31 Palestinians have already been killed this year.

Nine Palestinians were killed in a raid by the Israeli army on Thursday in the Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank.

According to the UN, it was the highest number of casualties in a single Israeli operation in the West Bank since the end of the second Intifada, the Palestinian uprising from 2000 to 2005. In retaliation, rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Friday.

The Israeli army intercepted most of the missiles with its air defense system.

Despite the attacks, tens of thousands protested against Israel's new ultra-right government on Saturday evening.

They are primarily concerned with planned reforms in the judicial system, which some observers consider to be the end of Israeli democracy.

Demonstrators in Tel Aviv and other cities lit candles to commemorate the victims of the terror attacks.

They also observed a minute's silence for those killed.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-29

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