West Bank assault casts shadow over Israel-Palestinian talks


CAIRO — A Palestinian gunman opened fireplace at an Israeli automobile within the occupied West Bank on Sunday, wounding two folks, Israeli officers stated. The assault forged a shadow over Egyptian-mediated efforts to decrease tensions forward of a delicate vacation interval starting this week.

The taking pictures got here as Israeli and Palestinian officers have been assembly within the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh in a bid to rein in a spiral of violence because the Muslim holy of month of Ramadan begins this week. The taking pictures instantly raised questions concerning the prospects for the brand new talks.

The assembly was the second try by the edges, shepherded by regional allies Egypt and Jordan in addition to the United States, to finish a year-long spasm of violence that has seen greater than 200 Palestinians killed by Israeli fireplace and greater than 40 Israelis or foreigners killed in Palestinian assaults.

Whatever progress emerged out of the earlier assembly in Jordan late final month, which ended with pledges to de-escalate tensions, was rapidly derailed when a brand new burst of violence erupted on the identical day. A Palestinian gunman shot and killed two Israelis within the occupied West Bank and Jewish settlers in response rampaged in a Palestinian city, destroying property and resulting in the demise of 1 Palestinian.

As Sunday’s talks have been underway, a Palestinian gunman opened fireplace on an Israeli automotive in the identical city — Hawara — as final month’s violence, the Israeli army stated.

Israeli medics stated a person was shot within the higher physique and was severely wounded whereas his spouse was calmly damage.

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The Israeli military stated the suspect was shot — both by the wounded man or by troopers — and arrested. His situation was not instantly recognized.

Hawara lies on a busy street within the northern a part of the West Bank that’s utilized by Israeli residents of close by Jewish settlements. Many settlers carry weapons.

Bloodshed has been surging since final month’s assembly in Jordan, making expectations for Sunday’s second installment low.

The killing of an Islamic Jihad militant in neighboring Syria added to the tensions Sunday. The militant group, which is lively within the northern West Bank, accused Israel of assassinating the commander. Israel had no remark.

Still, mediators need to ease tensions forward of Ramadan, which begin this week and which can coincide subsequent month with the weeklong Jewish vacation of Passover.

Ahmed Abu Zaid, a spokesman for the Egyptian international ministry, stated Sunday’s assembly could be attended by “high-level political and security officials” from either side, in addition to from Egypt, Jordan and the U.S. He wrote on Twitter that the talks are a part of efforts to realize and help calm between Israel and the Palestinians.

Abu Zaid stated regional and worldwide participation within the assembly goals at establishing “mechanisms” to comply with and activate what the events agree on, however offered no extra particulars.

The talks are a part of efforts to help “dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli sides to work towards ceasing unilateral measures and escalation, and to break the existing cycle of violence and achieve calm,” he stated.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no point out of the summit in his weekly Cabinet assembly.

Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh tweeted that the assembly was meant to “demand an end to this continuous Israeli aggression against us.”

Israeli media stated senior safety officers have been set to attend.

The upcoming interval is delicate as a result of giant numbers of Jewish and Muslim trustworthy pour into Jerusalem’s Old City, the emotional coronary heart of the battle and a flashpoint for violence, growing friction factors. Large numbers of Jews are additionally anticipated to go to a key Jerusalem holy web site, recognized to Muslims because the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews because the Temple Mount, which the Palestinians view as a provocation. Clashes on the web site in 2021 helped set off an 11-day battle between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which guidelines the Gaza Strip.

While the most recent violence started beneath the earlier Israeli authorities, it has intensified within the first two months of the brand new authorities, headed by Netanyahu and his coalition — the nation’s most right-wing administration ever.

The authorities is dominated by hard-line settlement supporters. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the minister who oversees the police, is an extremist as soon as relegated to the fringes of Israeli politics, with previous convictions for incitement to violence and help of a Jewish terror group. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich known as for Hawara to be “erased” after final month’s settler rampage, apologizing after a global outcry.

The violence is without doubt one of the worst rounds between Israel and the Palestinians within the West Bank and east Jerusalem in years.

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Following a spate of Palestinian assaults towards Israelis final spring, Israel launched near-nightly raids within the West Bank in what it says is a bid to stem the assaults and dismantle militant networks. But the raids didn’t seem to sluggish the violence and assaults towards Israelis have continued, killing 44 folks.

Nearly 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israel within the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest 12 months in these territories since 2004, in response to the Israeli rights group B’Tselem. Just this 12 months, 85 Palestinians have been killed, in response to a tally by The Associated Press.

Israel says most of these killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions have additionally been killed as have folks not concerned within the confrontations. Hundreds of Palestinians have been rounded up and positioned beneath so-called administrative detention, which denies them due course of on safety grounds.

Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip within the 1967 Mideast battle. The Palestinians search these territories for his or her future unbiased state.

Goldenberg reported from Tel Aviv, Israel.

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