Tensions between Israel and Palestine have risen as three Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in a fire fight in the West Bank
Israel–According to authorities, three Palestinian terrorists were killed by Israeli troops in a gunfight early Saturday in the occupied West Bank, sparking worries of further escalation of violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
According to Israeli media, four members of an Israeli police counter-terrorism squad were injured, one of them critically. As they sought to apprehend suspected militants in the northern West Bank, the forces came under fire. “This is a terrorist cell that has lately been involved in terrorist action against security personnel and was presumably planning another assault,” according to the police statement.
Tensions have risen in recent days following the deaths of 11 Israelis by Palestinian terrorists in separate incidents around the nation. Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer, and religious devotion for hundreds of millions of Muslims throughout the world, begins on Saturday. Ramadan has historically been a time of increased tension and confrontation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A Palestinian gunman killed five people in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak on Tuesday before being shot and killed by police. The shooting brought the total number of persons slain in Israel by Arab assailants to 11 in less than a week. On Thursday and Friday, Israeli police killed three Palestinians in West Bank conflicts, while a Palestinian attacked a passenger on an Israeli bus near a Jewish community before being shot dead by another passenger.
The security situation is rapidly deteriorating. While several of the previous attacks in Jerusalem’s Old City targeted police or military forces, the most recent stabbing targeted an Israeli jogger in a popular area outside the Old City. In the last week, two of the three assaults have targeted civilians. The security alert level for Israel has been increased to its maximum level. As a result, cops are considerably more visible on the streets, working longer shifts and concentrating their efforts on schools and popular meeting sites.
With the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announcing the addition of 14 battalions and combat men from special forces groups, troop presence in the West Bank and surrounding the Gaza Strip has also risen. Soldiers who carry a specific type of weapon would be obliged to carry their firearms even when on leave, according to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Palestinian terrorist organizations have hailed the assaults and asked for more, particularly in response to West Bank incursions and Jewish settlers’ brutality. “The continuing crimes of the occupation augur a complete explosion, which will be more forceful and agonizing, in which our people will be participating in all regions of our occupied territory,” Hamas, the militant organization that rules Gaza, said in a statement.
The Al-Quds Brigades of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military spokesperson, Abu Hamza, proclaimed “the raising of full preparedness among our soldiers in all military formations.” Over the following month, the overlapping of three important religious festivals — Ramadan, Passover, and Easter — could exacerbate tensions even further, compounding a potent mix of circumstances that might trigger yet another round of bloodshed.