Israeli forces hunt east Jerusalem checkpoint attacker – Times of India


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JERUSALEM: Israeli forces were hunting the assailant behind an attack that killed a soldier at an east Jerusalem checkpoint, authorities said Sunday, hours after two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli army said a soldier had been “killed as a result of being critically injured by a shooting attack” that police said had taken place at a checkpoint in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem near Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp.
Another Israeli had been “severely injured”, police said, and a third person, whose nationality was not specified, was hit by “shrapnel” in the incident, according to emergency services group Magen David Adom (MADA), which said all gunshot victims were in their 20s.
Police cordoned off the area near the checkpoint and dozens of officers had been deployed at the entrance and exit of east Jerusalem, while the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said its medics were being prevented from entering the refugee camp.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid described the shooting as a “severe” attack.
“My heart is with the wounded and their families this evening. Terror will not defeat us, we are strong even on this difficult evening,” he said in a statement.
Earlier Saturday, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead in an operation by Israeli forces in Jenin, the flashpoint northern city in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian health ministry announced the killing of “two citizens by occupation (Israeli) bullets in Jenin”, as Israeli troops carried out an arrest there. Eleven others were also wounded.
Those killed were named by the Palestinian health ministry as Ahmad Daraghmeh, 16, and Mahmoud as-Sous, 18. Islamic Jihad praised the teenagers as “its martyrs”.
Israel’s military said troops entered Jenin on Saturday to detain a 25-year-old Palestinian it said was a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group and suspected of shooting at troops in the area.
“During the activity, dozens of Palestinians hurled explosive devices and Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers and shots were fired at them,” an army statement said, adding that soldiers fired at “the armed suspects”.
Saturday’s incident is the latest in a series of frequent and often deadly raids by Israel’s army targeting Palestinian militants, which have left dozens of both Palestinian fighters and civilians dead.
Following the latest deaths in Jenin, the Palestinian presidency called on Washington to “exert serious pressure on Israel to stop its all-out war against our Palestinian people”.
Israeli action “will push matters towards an explosion and a point of no return, which will have devastating consequences for all,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for president Mahmud Abbas, in a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The agency also reported Israeli forces fired directly at journalists during the Jenin raid.
Two reporters were wounded Wednesday while covering a military operation witnessed by an AFP journalist near the West Bank city of Nablus, in which one Palestinian was killed.
In March, Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin.
Saturday’s violence in Jenin comes a day after two other Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by Israeli forces, according to the health ministry — Adel Dawoud, 14, killed in the northern West Bank, and Mahdi Ladadweh, 17, killed near the city of Ramallah.
“I am alarmed by the deteriorating security situation, including the rise in armed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War and around 475,000 Israelis now live in settlements across the territory, which are considered illegal by most of the international community.
They live alongside some 2.8 million Palestinians, who in different areas of the West Bank are subject to Israeli military rule or limited Palestinian governance.

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