IS claims responsibility over shooting attack in northern Israel

IS claims responsibility over shooting attack in northern Israel
The attackers were identified as two Palestinian cousins from the Palestinian town of Um Al-Fahm, north of Israel.
3 min read
West Bank
28 March, 2022
The attack is the second of its kind in less than week [Getty]

The Islamic State group (IS) claimed responsibility for an attack in Israel, which it said killed two soldiers and injured ten, according to a statement posted on the group's Telegram account early on Monday.

The shooting occurred in the town of Khudeira, located in north of Israel, late on Sunday and the attackers were identified as ِAyman and Khaled Ighbariyah, two cousins from the Palestinian town of Um Al-Fahm.

According to Israeli media, the attackers opened fire at a group of Israeli security personnel near a bus station in Khodeira's city centre, killing two border police guards, before the attackers were shot dead by other civilian-dressed security officials.

Following the incident, tens of Israelis gathered at the site of the attack and chanted "Death to the Arabs", Ameer Bueirat, a local journalist, told The New Arab.

"The Israeli minister of internal security, Omer Balev, showed up at the gathering, as well as the far-right member of the Knesset Itamar Ben Gvir," Bueirat said.

"Ben Gvir publicly accused the minister of inefficiency and of being 'a leftist working at the wrong job'. The two then began arguing in public," he added.

In Um Al-Fahm, the hometown of the alleged attackers, the Israeli police arrested five members of the Ighbariyah family. "The Israeli police said that they are suspected of sympathising with the Islamic State, as well as the two attackers," Bueirat noted.

One of the attackers, Khaled Ighbariyah, had been arrested by Turkish authorities in 2016, who accused him of attempting to join IS in Syria. He then served a year in Israeli jails.

In a statement published on the IS-related Aamaq website and its Telegram accounts, the group claimed responsibility for the attack several hours after it took place.

As of yet, the Ighbariyah family has not commented to the media.

"They are devastated by the news," noted Bueirat, who added that "the atmosphere in Um Al-Fahm remains calm and people do not want to speak about the subject."

A few hours after the incident, Israeli settlers in the West Bank attacked the Palestinian village of Jalud, near Nablus.

"We believe it was revenge after the attack at Khodeira", Ghassan Daghllas, a Palestinian activist against settlements in the Nablus region, told The New Arab​​​​​​.

"Settlers attempted to break into houses, and eventually burned several cars before they left," Daghllas added.

Moreover, a few hours after the attack, the Israeli army announced that it will send reinforcements made up of four additional brigades to shore up its forces in the occupied West Bank.

The attack at Khodeira came as Israel hosted talks between foreign ministers from the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, the US and Israel in the Naqab desert, and hours before the arrival of King Abdullah to Ramallah.

The Jordanian king is expected to discuss with Palestinian leaders the defusion of tensions in Jerusalem ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

This is the second attack of its kind in less than a week. On Tuesday, a Palestinian school teacher from Rahat in the Naqab killed four Israelis during a car-ram and stab attack in the city of Beersheba.