An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Dolev on Thursday afternoon, the third attack against Israelis in one day, prompting Israel's security agencies to bolster forces throughout the country and the West Bank.
The attacker likely opened fire at the soldier out of a moving vehicle, and security forces are currently pursuing him. The Israeli army is looking into the incident.
This incident follows two others that took place in Jerusalem. In the first attack, 12 Israeli soldiers were wounded when a perpetrator tried to run them over near Jerusalem's First Station. One soldier was seriously wounded; security forces apprehended the suspect after an hours-long manhunt.
In the second attack, an Arab Israeli resident of Haifa, identified as 45-year-ol Shadi Bana, opened fire on Border Police officers near the Lion's Gate. One Israeli Border Police officer was lightly wounded. Forces opened fire on the suspect, killing him at the scene.
Visiting security forces in the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed a statement at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, telling him, "It won't help you – not the stabbings, not the car-ramming attacks, not the sniping, and not the incitement. We will do everything necessary to protect our security, to define our borders, [and] to ensure our future. We will do it with you or without you."
During his own tour to the city of Bethlehem with other high-ranking military officers, Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi vowed to respond "clearly and decisively" to any attack. "We will not allow terrorism to succeed," he said.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced police presence would be stepped up throughout the country, with a specific focus on Jerusalem. "The most sensitive location is the Temple Mount ahead of Friday prayers," he said, adding that the security forces' objective was "to curb the formation of a wave of terrorism by all available means."
Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List of Arab-majority parties, issued a statement on Thursday, in which he “strongly condemns the shooting."
"A citizen of Israel should never use a weapon,” Odeh said, adding that “Arab citizens have chosen the path of a civil, democratic and just struggle to end the occupation and for peace and equality.”
“We won’t accept any other way,” he said.
The IDF announced on Thursday afternoon it was bolstering its presence in the West Bank, where tensions are also running high. Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces there in 24 hours.
Overnight Wednesday, Israeli troops entered the West Bank city of Jenin to carry out a security operation. Clashes erupted between Palestinians there and the soldiers, during which a 19-year-old Palestinian was killed. A Palestinian Authority police officer who was standing nearby when the altercations happened was shot at and later succumbed to his wounds. An initial investigation of the Jenin incident shows that the Palestinian police officer had not posed a threat to Israeli security forces.
The violent incidents come in the wake of the Trump administration's publication of its Middle East peace plan, which sparked outrage among Gaza and West Bank Palestinians as well as Arab countries in the region.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, addressed Thursday's attacks, blaming them on Washington's peace deal. "The 'deal of the century' has created this atmosphere of escalation and tension due to its attempt to dictate facts on the field. We have warned several times that any deal which doesn't give rights to the Palestinian people and doesn't obtain true peace will doubtlessly lead to an escalation."
Abu Rudeineh also noted that the Palestinian leadership plans to topple the deal.
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