Another bloody day in the Middle East. An Israeli soldier was killed in an armed attack on Saturday evening October 8 in East Jerusalem, and two Palestinian teenagers earlier in the day in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank, new evidence of a surge in violence that “alarm” the UN.
“During the night, an Israeli soldier died from serious injuries sustained in an armed attack at the Shuafat checkpoint”, an Israeli checkpoint located near a Palestinian refugee camp in East Jerusalem, the Israeli army said in a brief statement. Two Israelis, including the slain soldier, were seriously injured by the bullets in this attack. And a third person, whose nationality was not specified, was hit “splinters”according to Magen David Adom (Mada), the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross.
A police spokesperson said in a statement that a “A terrorist shot two Israelis, seriously injuring them” at an Israeli checkpoint near the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp. According to Magen David Adom, the bullet wounded are in their 20s and were taken to a hospital in Jerusalem. “It is a woman in critical condition and a man in serious condition”, according to the same source. And a reporter from Agence France-Presse (AFP) saw a woman dressed in the uniform of the security forces receiving treatment in an ambulance. The Israeli army did not specify the identity of the soldier killed early Sunday morning, but indicated that his family had been informed of the death.
“The police are looking for a suspect who has escaped” the scene of the attack, police said, adding that a helicopter and special forces are witnessing the manhunt. The area has been cordoned off by the police. Dozens of officers were deployed around the checkpoint and inside the refugee camp. And an AFP reporter also noted that security measures have been tightened upon entering and exiting Jerusalem.
Murder raid in Jenin
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid denounced this “serious terrorist attack” which occurs on Jewish holidays. “Terrorism will not win, we are strong even in this difficult evening”, Mr. Lapid said in a statement. On Saturday, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead in a new Israeli army raid on Jenin, a stronghold of Palestinian armed factions in the northern West Bank, a territory occupied, like East Jerusalem, by the Israeli army since 1967.
Faced with this violence in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel for more than 50 years, Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority has called on the United States to “increase pressure on Israel to end its all-out war against the Palestinian people”. Islamic Jihad, a very influential Palestinian armed Islamist movement in the Jenin area, presented the two teenagers as “his martyrs”. The Israeli army said it carried out a raid on Jenin to arrest a 25-year-old Palestinian suspected of being a member of Islamic Jihad and shooting soldiers.
Since the start of a wave of anti-Israel attacks in March that resulted in 21 deaths, the Israeli military has stepped up operations in the occupied West Bank, particularly in the areas of Jenin and Nablus. These raids, often interspersed with clashes with the local population, resulted in more than 100 Palestinian deaths, the heaviest toll in the West Bank in nearly seven years, according to the United Nations. “I am alarmed by the deteriorating security situation, including the increase in armed clashes between Palestinians and Palestinian security forces in the occupied West Bank.” and in East Jerusalem, the United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, commented late Saturday evening.