Jerusalem. The Israeli military said Palestinian attackers shot and killed a security guard at the entrance of a ghetto in the West Bank late Friday. The attack could add to the already ongoing Israeli-Palestinian tensions. The Israeli military said the attackers arrived at the entrance to the Ariel settlement early on Saturday, shot the security guard at its post and then fled. Israeli forces launched a search operation in the northern West Bank on Saturday to search for two Palestinian attackers who shot and killed a security guard at the entrance of the ghetto.
The military said a security guard was shot by two assailants in a car late Friday night outside Ariel, a major settlement in the northern West Bank. It said that the guard was standing in front of another guard which saved his life. The military said Israeli forces set up checkpoints on Saturday and were searching for the attackers in the area. The military said it had arrested two alleged members of the Hamas group, but there was no immediate indication that they were involved in the attack. The Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 27-year-old Palestinian man during a clash in the village of Ajoun near the city of Qalqilya early Saturday. In the past two months, 15 Israelis have been killed in a series of Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank. At least 27 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in recent weeks. Hamas, the rebel group that governs Gaza, praised the attack but declined to take responsibility.
Spokesman Hajim Qasim said, “The operation proves that the revolution is sweeping the entire West Bank. It is a practical implementation of the declaration of our people that Jerusalem is a red line.” Tension at a major holy site in Jerusalem escalated this month as Palestinians clashed daily with Israeli police. The site houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, and during Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, Palestinians visit it in large numbers for prayers. Earlier on Friday, Palestinians pelted stones and Israeli police fired rubber bullets. The site has seen unrest in recent weeks. Police say Palestinians pelted stones around dawn in the direction of the heavily guarded gate inside the al-Aqsa mosque complex and began hurling firecrackers toward the Western Wall, where Jews can pray. The police moved towards the premises and fired rubber bullets. The violence ended about an hour later when other Palestinians in the compound convinced the stone-pelters and the police to back down. The Palestinian Red Crescent Emergency Service said more than 40 people were injured, 22 of whom required treatment at local hospitals.
It said Israeli forces previously barred medical workers from entering the compound during the conflict, and that one of its doctors was beaten up by police. Israeli police said they were not aware of claims that they prevented medical workers from entering the area. He also informed that three people have been arrested. In recent weeks, there have been clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in the al-Aqsa mosque complex on several occasions. Israeli officials accused Hamas of inciting violence and said security forces had to intervene to pelt stones. Palestinians say the presence of Israeli police at the site and large numbers of nationalist and religious Jews has violated a decades-old informal system governing the site. These travels were banned for the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims.