The wreckage of gunmens’ car is seen following an attack in which people were killed on a main street in Hadera, Israel, March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
March 27, 2022
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Two Arab gunmen killed two people in Israel on Sunday and were then shot dead, Israeli security officials said, as the U.S. secretary of state and three Arab foreign ministers visited the country for a summit.
The officials said the two assailants in Hadera, a city about 50 km (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv, were Arab citizens of Israel. Israeli media reports said they were Islamic State sympathisers.
The attack occurred five days after an Arab from southern Israel killed at least four Israelis in a stabbing and car ramming spree in the city of Beersheba, before he was fatally shot by a passerby.
Surveillance camera footage broadcast on Israeli television stations showed two men opening fire with assault rifles on a main street in Hadera, raising fears in Israel of a wave of such attacks.
Two people were killed by the assailants, police and emergency services said. Police said the two gunmen were shot dead by policemen who had been dining at a nearby restaurant.
“Luckily, our officers managed to neutralise the assailants and prevent a bigger terrorist attack,” national police spokesman Eli Levy said on Israel’s Kan television.
In Israel’s southern Negev desert, the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, three countries that normalised relations with Israel in 2020, convened for a summit with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in attendance.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid “updated the foreign ministers participating in the Negev Summit on the details of the terror attack in Hadera,” the Israeli foreign ministry tweeted.
“All the foreign ministers condemned the attack, and asked to send their condolences to the families of the victims & wishes for the recovery of the wounded,” the ministry said.
Israeli security officials have cautioned about an escalation in attacks on Israelis in the run-up to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April – a volatile period in the past.
Jordan’s King Abdullah is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank on Monday in what is widely seen in Israel as an attempt to calm tensions ahead of the holiday period, which also includes Easter and Passover.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by William Maclean, Jane Merriman and Cynthia Osterman)