7 injured in Tel Aviv attack, Israel continues operation in West Bank

Members of Israeli security and emergency personnel work at the site of an alleged car collision attack in Tel Aviv on July 4, 2023.  - AFP
Members of Israeli security and emergency personnel work at the site of an alleged car collision attack in Tel Aviv on July 4, 2023. – AFP

A car rammed into pedestrians near a shopping center in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, injuring at least seven people, officials said Tuesday, as they dismounted and “charged civilians with sharp objects”. attacked”.

The incident came a day after at least 10 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during an operation in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. The operation of the occupying forces in the city has entered the second day today.

According to Israeli police, the suspect was “neutralized” at the scene by a civilian.

However, the Palestinian group Hamas praised the “heroic” attack, calling it an “initial response to crimes against our people” in the Jenin camp, where Israeli forces killed 10 people in an “anti-terrorist” operation on Monday.

Police said a driver in Tel Aviv is believed to have deliberately hit several pedestrians on a shopping street.

Police Chief Yaakov Shabtai said the suspect, a West Bank resident, was shot by an armed civilian passerby.

The attack came as the army stepped up its operation in Jenin in the northern West Bank, killing 10 Palestinians, detaining over 100, and displacing thousands from their homes.

The Jenin raid, launched early Monday under the hard-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has involved hundreds of soldiers as well as drone strikes and army bulldozers that have pounded roads and crushed cars.

“In the last five years, this is the worst raid,” said Qassim Benighadar, a morgue nurse at a local hospital.

Netanyahu said the Israeli army was “destroying command centers and seizing a lot of weapons” in the overcrowded Jenin camp.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry termed the escalation an “open war against the people of Jenin”.

‘cut off from the world’

On Tuesday, shops in Jenin were closed amid a general strike and nearly empty streets were littered with rubble and burnt-out pavements.

The army said Israeli forces “captured 120 Palestinian suspects”. The army said it did not intend to stay in the camp but was prepared for a long fight.

The northern West Bank has recently seen attacks on Israelis as well as anti-Jewish settler violence targeting Palestinians.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has worsened since the beginning of last year, and escalated further under the Netanyahu coalition government that includes far-right allies.

Jenin’s deputy governor, Kamal Abu al-Roub, said some 3,000 people had fled their homes in the refugee camp, adding that they would be housed in schools and other shelters.

The UN said the military operation had disrupted water and electricity in “large areas” of the refugee camp, a congested urban area home to some 18,000 people.

Imad Jabrin, one of those who left the rubble-filled camp, said, “All aspects of life have been destroyed, there is no electricity and no communication… We are somewhat cut off from the world”.

‘Fortify settlements’

A spokesman said in a statement that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “deeply concerned” about the violence and urged international humanitarian law to be respected.

In the Israeli-blockade Gaza Strip, protesters burn tires near the border fence with Israel.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Excluding occupied East Jerusalem, the area is now home to some 490,000 Israelis in settlements considered illegal under international law.

The Palestinians, who want their own independent state, want Israel to withdraw from all land it seized in 1967 and destroy all Jewish settlements.

However, Netanyahu has promised to “consolidate the settlements” and has expressed no interest in reviving peace talks, which have been deadlocked since 2014.

According to one report, at least 188 Palestinians, 25 Israelis, one Ukrainian and one Italian have been killed this year. AFP Compiled calculations from official sources on both sides.

– Additional input from AFP

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