A Palestinian shoots five people dead in the third attack in Israel in a week | International


Israeli toilets, next to the body of one of the victims of the attack, on Tuesday in Bnei Brak.Ofer Vaknin (AP)

Israel is suffering in just one week some of the deadliest attacks since the end of the Second Intifada in 2005. A Palestinian armed with an assault rifle has killed five Israelis in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish suburb, on Tuesday night. of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. The attacker was killed by the security forces after sowing terror and opening fire on the neighbors on the balcony of his house, and also on passers-by and drivers in different parts of the town. This armed action is the third that has been registered in Israel since last Tuesday, and between all of them there are 11 fatalities. Authors of the two previous attacks were linked to the Islamic State (ISIS, for its acronym in English), which claimed responsibility for the second of the attacks in a statement.

Israeli television channels broadcast images of the emergency services evacuating the bodies of the victims on Tuesday night and a video recorded by a resident of Bnei Brak in which he showed the attacker dressed in black and brandishing a rifle. Police were able to identify him as a Palestinian resident of Jenin, in the northern West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called an emergency meeting of the crisis ministerial cabinet that handles security issues late Tuesday night to respond to “a wave of Arab terrorism.”

On Sunday night, while a regional summit in which four foreign ministers from Arab countries participated was beginning in southern Israel, a firearms attack triggered security alerts in Hadera, a city located 50 kilometers north of Tel Aviv. Two police officers died and four other people were injured when they were shot with automatic long weapons by two Arabs of Israeli nationality in the center of that coastal city. One of the assailants had been tried and convicted of having links with ISIS. Members of the Israeli security forces who were off duty in the area shot them dead as they tried to open fire on other bystanders.

The escalation of violence broke out last Tuesday in a multiple attack in which four Israelis lost their lives, being stabbed or run over by a vehicle, in Beersheva, in southern Israel. The aggressor, a Bedouin with Israeli nationality who was imprisoned between 2015 and 2019 for his ties to jihadism, was finally shot dead.

ISIS has struck by surprise in the bowels of Israel. The security forces have carried out continuous raids and searches in Israeli Arab cities. A dozen suspects have been detained under “administrative arrest” (without judicial intervention) accused of collaborating with jihadist plots. The Shin Bet (internal intelligence) acknowledges a security flaw in tracking radicalized Israeli Arabs who had already been convicted in the past of collaborating with ISIS.

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Israeli society is disconcerted by a type of terrorism that it believed was far from its borders. The security alert has also intensified in recent weeks due to the threat of an outbreak of violence in April. The conjunction of the month of Ramadan (which begins on Friday) and Jewish Passover (which this year coincides with Holy Week) makes the authorities fear that there will be attacks in the West Bank and, above all, in East Jerusalem, as well as in the mixed Arab and Jewish cities. The announced visit of Jewish extremists, on Thursday, to the Esplanade of the Mosques, has already triggered tension in East Jerusalem. In this month of March there have been a dozen attacks, at an unusual level since the intense wave of violence that preceded an armed conflict in Gaza in 2021 between the Army and the Palestinian Islamist militias.

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