Two Israelis killed in second IS rampage in a week
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) claimed responsibility on Monday for a shooting in Negev that saw two Arab gunmen kill two Israeli police officers and wound four others in the second deadly rampage by the group within a week.
The attack, which happened on Sunday, saw the shooters open fire on the eve of a meeting between the foreign ministers of four Arab nations and the United States in central Israel. Less than a week ago, a lone attacker, inspired by IS, murdered four people in a stabbing spree in the south of the country.
Security footage showed two men opening fire in Hadera before they were shot by two members of the Israeli Border Police’s counterterrorism unit who had been in a restaurant nearby when the attack began. The emergency services swiftly responded to the situation.
“This was murder for the sake of murder and terror for the sake of terror,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said, flanked by ministers from Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, the UAE, and the US, adding that “the terrorist goal is to intimidate us.”
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita addressed the terrorist attack, stating, “Our presence here today is, I think, the best response to such attacks.”
IS claimed responsibility for the attack via its mouthpiece, Amaq, reporting that two jihadists had killed two members of the Israeli security forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said his “heart breaks” over the attacks, issuing a statement from his home, where he is isolating after testing positive for Covid. In contrast, Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules neighboring Gaza, called it a “heroic operation.”
The rampages come ahead of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Citizens have been urged to remain vigilant and the police will be establishing checkpoints on major roads in the area from Tuesday.
Ramadan, which begins on Saturday, has previously been a period in which violence has broken out between Israeli police and Muslim protesters. Last year, clashes between the two sparked conflict between forces in Israel and Gaza.