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Analysis: Wave of Terrorism in Israel Continues, Hamas’ Role Becoming Evident


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FDD's Long War Journal

Joe Truzman

May 8, 2022

On Thursday night, two assailants wielding axes murdered three Israelis and wounded several others in the city of Elad, located east of Tel Aviv.

According to an Israeli publication, two residents of the West Bank, As’ad Al-Rafa’ani, and Sabhi Abu Shakir were driven to Elad by one of the victims. After arriving, the pair murdered the driver and went on to commit further attacks in different areas of the city. Both attackers succeeded in escaping before law enforcement arrived.

Video published on social media after the assault showed security forces hunting for the perpetrators and deploying a Skylark 1 UAV to assist in the search.

Palestinian militant organizations published statements lauding the offensive saying it was a natural response to crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Fatah-linked Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took their approval of the strike a step further by deploying its militants to the streets of Gaza to distribute sweets to citizens.

Conversely, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas published a statement condemning the attack, saying the killing of “Palestinians and Israeli civilians only leads to further deterioration of the situation at a time when we all strive to achieve stability and prevent escalation.”


*The latest offensive also introduces a new factor that wasn’t prominent in the last six weeks: Israeli public anger. Repeated terrorist strikes inside major Israeli cities have left 18 dead.

Hamas has also picked up on the Israeli public’s anger. The Brigades’ spokesperson issued an emphatic statement on Saturday saying last year’s Gaza conflict would look like an “ordinary event” if Hamas leaders were targeted for assassination by Israel.

Israeli security services have yet to capture Rafa’ani and Shakir, though their remaining freedom can likely be measured in hours or at most several days.

Update: Both attackers were apprehended on Sunday by Israeli security forces in a forested area near Elad.


* A question I have been asking, and waiting for, for some time now. When will the Israeli public Tell the Israeli Government that they have had Enough(!) and to make This (Palestinian Terrorism) Go Away.

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