Israel is once again the scene of a new terrorist attack. At least three people have been killed and four others injured in a suspected terrorist attack in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish-majority city of Elad, Israel's emergency response services said.
The attack, which took place on the eve of Jewish Independence Day, involved two attackers. Two of the wounded are now in Beilinson Hospital, one of them in critical condition and the other seriously injured.
This incident is the latest attack in a series of clashes that have pitted Muslims and Jews against each other in Jerusalem during the month of Ramadan. This is in addition to attacks in several Israeli towns and cities in which 11 people were reportedly killed in just one week in March. There have also been several attacks in the occupied area of the West Bank over the last month, which have reportedly killed 16 people.
In parallel, the Israeli army has responded to these attacks, killing at least 26 Palestinians, reportedly including several civilians. In addition, Israeli police again stormed the Esplanade of the Mosques in the Old City in order to evict Palestinian demonstrators, as well as to facilitate Jewish visits to the site, where they can only visit as visitors, although such visits are reportedly suspended during the month of Ramadan.
Hamas has praised the alleged terrorist attack, but has not claimed responsibility for it. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum has linked this latest attack to clashes at the Esplanade of Al-Aqsa Mosques. Barhoum told CNN that "this is a brave and heroic act that comes as a natural response to the occupation's violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque".
He said, "the attack sends a message to the Israeli occupation that all its crimes and violations will only come back to it (...) Our natural right is for our people to respond to the crimes of the occupation, to deter them and to defend our rights. Today, the occupation is paying the bill for its violations".
Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was the first member of the Israeli government to comment on the attack. On his Twitter account, Lapid said that "the joy of Independence Day has been cut short in an instant".
All this comes at a time when the Israeli High Court has ruled that the Israeli army has the right to evict more than 1,300 Palestinians living in some villages in Masafer Yatta, located in the South Hebron Hills.
According to the court ruling, this would not provide for the compulsory eviction of the homes, but it does give the green light for the Israeli army to do so "if necessary". According to local media, this decision is the largest judicial authorisation approving the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes since 1967. According to the court, the Palestinian residents had failed to prove that they were living in the villages as "permanent residents" before the Israeli army set up a training camp in the same area.
The Defence, for its part, has argued that, according to the Geneva Conventions, it is "illegal to expropriate occupied land". However, the judges have rejected this claim, defended in turn by the Israeli Army, which has stated that "the vital importance of this firing range for the Israel Defence Forces derives from the unique topographical character of the area, which allows specific training methods for small and large structures, from a squad to a battalion".
The court decision was issued on the eve of Israel's Independence Day, a date Palestinians refer to as "Naqba", a day that represents one of the darkest moments in their history when they remember the mass exodus they experienced after the creation of the new Israeli state in 1948.