Israel-Palestine updates: One killed in Tel Aviv attack
Israel’s rescue service says several people were injured in the incident, adding that the victims were tourists.
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- At least one person was killed and several injured in a car-ramming attack in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Security forces shot the suspect who allegedly tried to pull a gun.
- Israel’s rescue service said the victims were tourists, with one of the killed being an Italian national.
- Israel mobilised police and army reserves after the attack, the prime minister’s office said.
US says ‘stands with’ Israel after ‘unconscionable’ attacks
The United States has voiced solidarity with Israel following the Tel Aviv attack.
“The targeting of innocent civilians of any nationality is unconscionable,” said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel. “The United States stands with the government and people of Israel.”
Year marked by rising number of Palestinians killed in West Bank
Nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli settlers and security forces since the beginning of the year, putting 2023 on track to be one of the worst for violence against Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Israel has stepped up raids targeting Palestinian cities such as Nablus and Jenin, where a new generation of fighters with groups such as the Lion’s Den have pledged armed resistance to Israel’s decades-long occupation.
Palestinian authorities said earlier this week that 94 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year.
By comparison, more than 170 Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in all of 2022, the deadliest year since 2004, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
During the same period in 2022, 30 Israelis were killed.
According to the United Nations, 86 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank between December 30, 2022 and March 20, 2023.
During that same period, 14 Israelis were killed in the occupied West Bank, including 11 settlers.
Italian foreign minister condemns ‘cowardly’ attack that killed citizen
Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani confirmed in a post on Twitter that Alessandro Parini, an Italian citizen, was killed in Friday’s car-ramming attack in Tel Aviv. He also confirmed that other Italian citizens could be among those injured in the attack.
“The Israeli authorities confirm the death of the Italian citizen Alessandro Parini and report the possible injury of other compatriots in the cowardly attack on #TelAviv,” said Tajani. “I express my firm condemnation of terrorism and my closeness to families.”
Le autorità israeliane confermano la morte del cittadino italiano Alessandro Parini e riportano il possibile ferimento di altri connazionali nel vile attentato a #TelAviv. Esprimo ferma condanna contro il terrorismo e vicinanza alle famiglie. La Farnesina è al lavoro.
— Antonio Tajani (@Antonio_Tajani) April 7, 2023
‘Pattern’ of tension after Al-Aqsa raids: AJ correspondent
Al Jazeera correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid pointed to a familiar pattern to the violence unfolding in Tel Aviv and elsewhere, as the world reacts to successive Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a Muslim holy site.
“I think now the Israeli security forces will be bracing themselves for more of such attacks. Because that has been the pattern in the past,” she said.
“Tensions inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque spill over beyond the walls of the compound and a bit all over– around Israel and the occupied West Bank – taking the security forces by surprise each and every time.”
Israeli ambulance service: All Tel Aviv attack victims tourists
Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service says all of the victims of Friday’s attack in Tel Aviv were tourists.
One man, an Italian tourist, was killed in the attack. Five more were injured. Israeli authorities have identified them as Italian and United Kingdom citizens.
Reuters reported that an Israeli security source identified the assailant as a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship from the town of Kafr Qassem.
Netanyahu directs police and military forces to mobilise
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Israeli law enforcement “to mobilise all reserve border police units and has directed the [Israeli army] to mobilise additional forces to confront the terror attacks”.
Attack comes after successive Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa
The car-ramming attack in Tel Aviv that killed at least one person and injured several more follows weeks of escalating tension in Israel and the occupied territories.
Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested after raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the last two days, during which Israeli forces fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at worshippers praying in the holy month of Ramadan.
Following the Al-Aqsa raids, Israel said it received missile fire from the Gaza Strip and Palestinian forces in Lebanon.
Overnight on Friday, it responded with an aerial bombardment on what it says were weapons production sites for Hamas. No casualties have been reported by authorities in Gaza or Israel.
Tel Aviv attack ramps up pressure on Netanyahu: AJ correspondent
Al Jazeera correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid says the Tel Aviv car-ramming attack will likely heighten calls for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take aggressive action.
“I think this does increase the pressure on the prime minister many folds. And this pressure now is coming from inside Israel,” she said, citing “hardliners” in Netanyahu’s government “who have been preaching all along for a much tougher stance when it comes to dealing with Palestinians”.
“The mayor of Tel Aviv has spoken with Israeli media, and he actually said that all this is happening at this particular time because, in his words, the enemy is taking advantage of the weakness they see among Israeli society at the moment,” Abdel-Hamid explained.
Palestinian-Israeli tensions create ‘time bomb’ for violence: Rights advocate
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American–Islamic Relations, told Al Jazeera the violence in Tel Aviv was no surprise and called the increasing tensions a “time bomb”.
“What we see is really the result of decades of Israeli subjugation, humiliation and oppression of the Palestinians. The Palestinians have been captive community under the occupation to Israel, demolishing their homes, depriving them of human rights, committing all kinds of war crimes against them,” he said.
He pointed to recent events at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as inflaming tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. In successive raids, Israeli security forces expelled worshippers from the mosque, the third holiest site for the Muslim community.
“They kicked them out, they beat them, they handcuffed them and put cuffs on their legs and feet and threw them on the ground like sacks of meat,” Awad said. “All of this happening with total impunity. No reaction by the Western government, including the US government or the Western media.”
“So you will see that the Palestinians will react in defending themselves by all means possible.”
Awad called on the US to use its influence to sway what he called Israel’s “religious extremist government”.
Attack described as combined car-ramming and shooting
Al Jazeera correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid reported from occupied East Jerusalem, saying details were still breaking about what happened on the waterfront promenade in Tel Aviv.
“The latest we have heard is that this was a combined ramming and shooting attack,” she explained. “It was carried out by a man from central Israel who had no previous criminal record. Now what happened exactly is still a bit confusing to understand.
“We do know that this man was driving a car. He rammed into a group of tourists who happened to be on that promenade. About six of them were wounded. And one of them, an Italian national, died.”
Abdel-Hamid noted that the suspect’s car overturned after the ramming. She also said there was a video showing security forces shooting the suspect as he was on the ground.
“But in the latest statement, police are saying they noticed after the car overturned or before the car overturned – it’s not clear – that this attacker was reaching out for what they thought was a weapon. And that’s why they neutralised him. That bit of the statement is quite confusing.”
Qatar says working to ‘de-escalate situation’
A Qatari official said the Gulf country is in touch with both sides “in the context of its role as a mediator”.
“In the context of its role as a mediator, the State of Qatar is working to de-escalate the situation on all sides, with the latest contact being noon today,” the official was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.
Read more here.
What triggered the increase in violence in the Middle East?
The spike in violence raised fears of a wider confrontation as well as questions about what this means for already fractured relations.
Victims in Tel Aviv attack tourists: Ambulance service
Victims in Tel Aviv attack were foreign tourists, an Israeli ambulance service has said, without specifying their nationalities.
Israel mobilises police, army after Tel Aviv attack
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the mobilisation of police and army reserves after the attack in Tel Aviv.
“The Prime Minister has instructed the Israel Police to mobilise all reserve border police units and has directed the IDF to mobilise additional forces to confront the terror attacks,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
One killed in Tel Aviv attack
One person has been killed and several have been wounded in a Tel Aviv terror attack, according to Israel’s foreign ministry.
The Magen David Adom emergency service has said in a statement a man aged about 30 was declared dead and five others were taken to hospital with moderate injuries after the attack.