Israel - Army Closes Off Ramallah After Attacks Kill 6 (Video)
After a period of relative calm, deadly violence has flared up in the occupied West Bank in recent days. A Palestinian gunman killed two soldiers at a bus stop on Thursday. The Israeli army killed four Palestinians within the next day.
Thursday the army blocked access roads to the city of Ramallah, the seat of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just north of Jerusalem. Mr. Abbas condemned the violence of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, but also expressed that he understood some youngsters that "the lack of visibility on peace" is inciting Palestinians to attack Israelis.
The extremist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad expressed their praise for the violent Palestinian perpetrators.
They called Thursday's attack "a heroic act" and "the answer to the occupier's crimes". Hamas also stated, "that the flame of resistance on the West Bank will continue to burn as long as the occupation of our country continues."
The terrorist organisation Hamas controls only part of the Palestinian territories and most of its operations are based in the Gaza Strip but it also has a lot of support on the West Bank.
Mr. Yoram Cohen, a former head of the Shin Bet domestic security service said on Israeli army radio that the Hamas movement has an important share in the attacks, even though they are not officially claimed. According to Mr. Cohen, Hamas members on the West Bank are "directed from the Hamas headquarters in Gaza".
Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted an anonymous army officer who stated that Hamas is investing heavily in "terror infrastructure and armed units" in major cities such as Ramallah, Hebron, and Nablus. According to him, many attacks are thwarted, "but some events end horribly".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who now also works as the country’s defense minister, ordered the military to expedite the demolition of the terrorists' homes to within 48 hours after an attack.
Israel executes 4 Palestinian civilians [2 israelis dead] in one of the bloodiest & most vengeful 24hrs to hit occupied Palestine in months https://t.co/ymMmOAj0fl