Three Israeli soldiers shot dead near Jerusalem

Palestinian gunman reportedly opened fire on Israelis in settlement of Har Adar near Jerusalem, killing three .

    Three Israelis have been shot and killed, and a fourth wounded, in a settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli army radio reported.

    The station interviewed a resident of Har Adar, an illegal settlement near Jerusalem, who said the gunman had arrived with a group of Palestinian labourers and opened fire on paramilitary Israeli police guards.

    Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from Jerusalem, said the gunman was shot dead after the attack.

    "He was identified as a 37-year-old father of four from the nearby village of Beit Surik. The man, who reportedly carried a work permit for the settlement, approached the checkpoint at the entrance to Har Adar, when he opened fire on the guards," Fawcett said. 

    Har Adar is an upscale settlement west of Jerusalem, on the border between the West Bank and Israel.

    Nabil Shaath, a senior PLO official and adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas, told Al Jazeera that the Palestinian leadership condemns the attack.

    "We Palestinians support peaceful resistance against the Israeli occupation. The peaceful struggle of our people in Jerusalem against violent Israeli terrorism, by praying in the cobbled streets of Old Jerusalem, is a clear example of our peaceful [intentions].

    "Our political strategy is peaceful and is about achieving a lasting peace, while the Israeli policies are making it almost impossible to reach that goal under the current conditions.

    "Israeli colonial settlements and occupation are the cause of all incitement."

    Hazem Kassem, a spokesperson of Hamas in Gaza, said the attack proved that "Palestinian resistance has not been broken."

    "The latest incident proves that our people are committed to resistance against Israel's occupation, no matter how cruel the measures Israel employs against our people, especially in Jerusalem," Kassem told Al Jazeera.

    "It also shows that our people's resistance has not been broken by Israel, despite continued Israeli oppression and occupation," he added.

    "Our freedom and independence will only be achieved by resistance, not by standing at the doors of international organisations begging for it."

    Since September 2015, Palestinians have killed 48 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shooting and car-ramming attacks.

    During that same time, Israeli forces have killed over 255 Palestinians; Israel says most of them were attackers, others died in clashes with Israeli forces.

    Most of the attacks have been stabbings against Israeli soldiers, primarily in the occupied West Bank.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in public remarks to his cabinet that the gunman's home would be demolished and any work permits issued to his relatives would be revoked. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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