Palestine’s Abbas condemns Israel attack as manhunt launched

Palestine’s Abbas condemns Israel attack as manhunt launched
Three Israelis were killed in a stabbing attack in Elad on Thursday evening, as police say 'independence day' celebrations were ongoing.
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Abbas condemned the stabbings on Thursday [Getty]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned an attack that killed three Israelis on Thursday, as authorities in Tel Aviv launched a manhunt to locate the suspects.

Abbas stressed “that the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians only leads to a further deterioration of the situation at a time when we all strive to achieve stability and prevent escalation,” in a statement carried by the state-owned Wafa news agency.

“President Abbas warned against using this condemned incident to carry out attacks by Israeli settlers or other parties against our Palestinian people, affirming his condemnation of the continuous attacks against our people and their Islamic and Christian holy sites,” the statement read.

The statement was released late on Thursday evening, just hours after a stabbing attack in Elad left three Israelis dead. Police said the incident occurred as Israelis celebrated so-called “independence day”.

Elad, situated near Tel Aviv, hosts mostly members of Israel’s ultraorthodox Jewish community, known as Haredim.

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Palestinians in the West Bank have also faced violence since late March, with Israeli security conducting a series of raids in the West Bank, particularly in Jenin and Hebron.

These have killed 27 Palestinians, including women and teenagers. Some of the Palestinians were killed in refugee camps.

One Palestinian woman was shot dead as she held her hands above her head and ran away from the Israeli forces opening fire at her in April, graphic footage of the incident showed.

Ghada Ibrahim Ali Sabateen, a widow and mother-of-six, had been walking near a checkpoint near Bethlehem and had been unarmed according to an Israeli forces spokesperson, who claimed that she looked "suspicious".

Another majority Haredi city in Israel, Bnei Brak, as well as Tel Aviv, also witnessed attacks allegedly conducted by Palestinians in March.

Excluding Thursday's deaths, recent attacks in Israel have killed 15 people, including a Palestinian citizen of Israel who died of his wounds.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in early April gave "full freedom" of operation to security forces, and said that "there are not and will not be limits for this war".

Rights groups have repeatedly slammed Israel for showing "appalling disregard for human life" by using "reckless and unlawful lethal force" against Palestinians.

Israelis celebrated the 1948 establishment of their state on its 'Independence Day' from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening.

It comes before Nakba Day on 15 May, which remembers the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed and forced to leave their homes alongside Israel's creation.

AFP and Reuters contributed to this report.