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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Israel announces Hamas arrests day after fatal shooting

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Israel’s internal security agency said it had arrested more than 50 members of a Hamas cell in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem over recent weeks who were involved in planning attacks on Israelis.

The announcement came a day after a Hamas gunman killed an Israeli man and injured four others in a shooting near a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Shin Bet said it had uncovered the Hamas cell in recent weeks in the West Bank and that it was planning several attacks in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel.

It said the militants “were involved in establishing a terror infrastructure and money, armaments, weapons and material for preparing explosives were apprehended”.

The Israeli man killed in Sunday’s attack, 26-year-old Eliyahu Kay, was buried in Jerusalem on Monday. At least one other person injured in the attack remained in hospital.

The attacker was identified as a 42-year-old Palestinian man from east Jerusalem who belonged to Hamas. He was shot dead by police at the scene.

Hamas, an Islamic militant group seeking Israel’s destruction, praised Sunday’s attack and confirmed that the gunman was one of its members.

But it did not say whether the shooting was an operation organised by the group or whether the attacker had acted alone.

Israel and Hamas have fought four wars since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, most recently an 11-day battle in May.

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