Published on : 02/26/2023 – 16:32Modified : 02/26/2023 – 17:38
Two young Israelis were shot dead Sunday in their car in Huwara, in the occupied West Bank. This attack was described as a “Palestinian terrorist attack” by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and a “heroic operation” by the Islamic Jihad which did not claim responsibility for the attack.
Two young Israelis were shot dead on Sunday, February 26, in the north of the occupied West Bank in an attack on their car, described as a “Palestinian terrorist attack” by the Israeli government.
The attack happened on the main road in Huwara, near Nablus, where an AFP photographer saw Israeli soldiers deployed for search operations.
It comes as a meeting opened on Sunday in Jordan between Palestinian and Israeli leaders to try to put an end to the spiral of violence observed since the beginning of the year, after the entry into office at the end of December of the government formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with far-right allies and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.
Israel denounces a “terrorist” act
“Two Israelis were killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack,” read a joint statement from Benjamin Netanyahu and his National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. “Our response to terrorism is to fight it with force and to strengthen our roots in our land”, adds the text.
Earlier, the Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross, told AFP that the two young Israelis injured in Huwara had succumbed to their injuries.
The Israeli army said that a “terrorist [avait] opened fire on an Israeli vehicle” and that soldiers then cordoned off the area for search operations.
Without claiming responsibility for the attack, the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad called it a “heroic operation”.
“A strong message at the summit of Aqaba”, for the Islamic Jihad
The Shomron Regional Council, which manages the Jewish settlements in this area, identified the two victims as two brothers, Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, residents of the settlement of Har Bracha, close to the site of the attack, aged respectively 22 and 20 years.
In their press release, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ben Gvir announce that a ministerial committee has voted in favor of a “proposal of law opening the possibility for a court to inflict the death penalty on terrorists”.
This proposal is very controversial in Israel, where the death penalty has only been applied once by civil justice, against the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, in 1962.
Orit Strock, Minister of National Missions and figure of the settler movement, called on Twitter “for the immediate return of the Israeli delegation” participating in the Aqaba meeting.
In a statement asserting, like other Palestinian groups, its opposition to the talks in Jordan, Islamic Jihad called Huwara’s attack “a strong message to the summit of Aqaba that our resistance is active”.
This attack comes in a context of rising violence, particularly in the northern West Bank, where the army has been increasing its operations for almost a year.
Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 62 Palestinians (including members of armed groups and civilians including minors) and 11 civilians (including three minors) and one Israeli policeman as well as a Ukrainian, according to an AFP tally compiled from official Israeli and Palestinian sources.
Source: France 24