IS claims 2 killed in Israel, second violence in a week

The militant Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a shooting in central Israel that police say killed two and injured four.

Tel Aviv, Israel – The militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility Monday when a pair of Arab gunmen killed two people and wounded four in central Israel before being killed by police.

The two men killed in Sunday night’s attack in the town of Hadera were Israeli police officers, authorities said.

It was the second deadly attack on an Israeli city by Arab invaders in less than a week during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. On Tuesday, a lone attacker inspired by the Islamic State group killed four people in a stabbing in southern Israel before being killed by pedestrians, police said.

The attacks threatened to cast a shadow over a gathering of foreign ministers in the Negev desert, where Iran’s nuclear deal was expected to be at the top of the agenda. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Hadera rushed to the scene of the shooting.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a post on their Amak news agency, saying two IS members had killed two Israeli security forces.

The attack “broke the heart,” Bennett said Monday. Israeli Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a statement from his home after testing positive for coronavirus. He urged the people to be vigilant. Police were expected to set up checkposts on major roads on Tuesday.

Ramadan is scheduled to start from Saturday. Last year, clashes between Israeli police and Muslim protesters during the holy month turned into an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas rulers in Gaza.

The attack has been condemned by governments around the world.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who attended a meeting in the Negev with Foreign Minister Yar Lapid, the foreign minister of the four Arab states, and Israeli Foreign Minister Ehud Olmert, tweeted: “Such violence and killings have no place in society.”

Hamas, the Gaza-ruled Islamic militant group, has called the attack a “heroic operation.”

Security camera footage circulated in the Israeli media showed two bearded men firing at Hadera before firing. An Israeli official said two members of the Israeli Border Police’s counter-terrorism unit were at a restaurant near the attack, ran out and killed the attackers.

The Israeli rescue service MADA confirmed the deaths of a man and a woman and said four were injured, two in critical condition. It has released video showing that there are a large number of police vehicles and ambulances in the area.

IS operates mainly in Iraq and Syria, where it has stepped up attacks on security forces through Slipper Cell despite regional defeats more than three years ago. The extremist group has also claimed responsibility for attacks on Israeli troops in the past and has branches in Afghanistan and Asia and beyond.

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