New Delhi, Nov 30: In Jerusalem this morning suspected two Palestinian brothers killed three people and injured several others, leading to increased tensions in Israel and the West Bank Palestinian Territories.
The two attackers were brothers known to the Israeli security services as Hamas supporters from (Palestinian) East Jerusalem and had both served prison sentences for what Israelis described as “terrorist activity”
How these incidents in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jenin will affect the temporary truce which allows for the continued exchange of hostages and prisoners is unclear. That temporary ceasefire has now been extended for another day, but it feels particularly fragile.
The hard-line national security minister in Israel’s government, Itamar Ben-Gvir, arrived quickly at the scene of this morning’s shooting supporting the arming of Israeli civilians. He has also called for the resumption of Israel’s war in Gaza to defeat Hamas.
It follows a similar incident two weeks ago when five Israelis were wounded and one member of the security services was killed in a shooting attack at a checkpoint between the Palestinian city of Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
This latest attack also comes a day after two Palestinian boys, aged eight and 14 were shot and killed during an Israeli army incursion into the city of Jenin, in the West Bank, where several Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli security forces since 7 October.
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has arrived in Israel as the international community continues to express its support for extending the truce between Israel and Hamas for as long as possible, enabling the release of more hostages held captive in Gaza.
Antony Blinken met Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv today. Blinken is visiting the region for the third time since the Israel-Hamas war began on 7 October. “We have seen over the last week the very positive development of hostages coming home, being reunited with their families,” Blinken said during the meeting.
“It’s also enabled an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately. So, this process is producing results. It’s important, and we hope that it can continue.” Blinken also met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and will meet Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah later.