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Deadly Attack Near Israeli Settlement in West Bank

Gulan Media February 22, 2024 News
Deadly Attack Near Israeli Settlement in West Bank

In a tragic turn of events, a man has been killed and seven others wounded in a horrifying attack by three Palestinian gunmen near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. The incident, which unfolded near the checkpoint for Maale Adumim, has sent shockwaves through the region.

According to Israeli police and medics, the assailants emerged from a vehicle at the checkpoint and unleashed a barrage of gunfire from automatic weapons at several vehicles waiting there. The swift response from security forces resulted in the neutralization of two attackers, while the third was wounded and subsequently apprehended.

While no specific claim has been made, Palestinian armed group Hamas has expressed praise for the attack, highlighting the escalating tensions in the region. This surge in violence comes amidst the backdrop of heightened hostilities triggered by Hamas's earlier deadly assaults in Israel.

Since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, conflict-related incidents have claimed the lives of at least 394 Palestinians, including armed group members, attackers, and civilians, in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel. In parallel, 12 Israelis, including four security personnel, have tragically lost their lives during the same period.

The attack unfolded near the al-Zaim checkpoint on Highway 1, a crucial artery connecting Maale Adumim with Jerusalem. The assault, which spanned a 500-meter stretch of the highway, resulted in casualties across multiple vehicles. Tragically, a 20-year-old man succumbed to his wounds, while a 23-year-old pregnant woman sustained serious injuries to her upper body.

Among the wounded, four individuals are reported to be in moderate condition, while one sustained minor injuries. Additionally, several others received treatment for shock, underscoring the psychological toll of such senseless violence.

The perpetrators, identified as three Palestinian men from Bethlehem, approximately 10 kilometers southwest of the scene, have thrust the region into further turmoil. Israeli officials, including national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, have condemned the attack, advocating for heightened security measures and emphasizing the paramount importance of safeguarding civilian lives.

As tensions continue to escalate, Hamas has characterized the attack as a "natural response" to what they perceive as Israeli "massacres and crimes" in Gaza and the West Bank. The militant group has called upon Palestinians to take up arms, exacerbating concerns of further violence and instability in the region.

This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the volatile nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, underscoring the urgent need for concerted efforts towards de-escalation and lasting peace in the region.