At least two police officers were killed and several injured in an attack by the Islamic State (IS) organization in the northern Israeli city of Hadera on Sunday, officials say.
Dudu Boni, a senior police officer in the area, said the two killed were two policemen and that special forces had killed the attackers, two Israeli Arabs, who were identified by Israeli intelligence as local ISIS operatives.
“Two members of a Jewish police force were killed and several injured in an attack by an undercover commando,” IS claimed in a statement released Monday at a propaganda site.
Surveillance camera footage in Hadera, a city between Tel Aviv and Haifa, showed two men firing automatic weapons on a street where cars are driving, before heading to the sidewalk.
But an Israeli security source told AFP: “Two members of the Border Police Counter Terrorism Unit, who were at a restaurant near the scene of the attack, came out and neutralized the attackers.”
Witnesses said that shortly after, security forces crossed parts of Umm al-Fahm, an Arab city about twenty kilometers from Hadera.
Ayman Odeh, the leader of the “Include List”, a group of Arab Israeli political parties focused on their support in the north of the country, condemned the attack, saying it “has nothing to do with the political struggle that the Arab people are facing”. does. Its rights”.
In separate statements, the Palestinian armed Islamic movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad lauded the “heroic Hadra operation”, with Hamas saying it was “in response to the normalization summit on our land”.
– Summit of the Negev –
The attack comes as Israel hosted a summit on Sunday and Monday in an area in the Negev desert (south) to bring together heads of diplomacy from the United States, Egypt, the Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held discussions with the police and army chief in the evening, while Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who spoke in Jerusalem with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier in the day, visited Hadera.
He spoke to local officials there, his office said.
Yair Lapid, the head of Israeli diplomacy, said he had “informed” those attending the Negev summit. “All foreign ministers condemned the attack and offered their condolences to the families of the victims,” he said in a statement.
Last Tuesday, two men and two women were killed in a stabbing and crushing attack in the Negev desert’s main city of Beersheva. Stabbings against Israeli security forces occur sporadically in Jerusalem and are often carried out by Palestinians unrelated to ISIS.
But the Beershewa attacker has been identified by authorities as Mohamed Abu al-Qian, a teacher from the Bedouin city of Hura in the Negev, who was arrested in 2016 for planning to travel to Syria to fight within the EI group. Was sentenced to one year in prison. To apologize for the sermon.
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