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IS Claims Responsibility of Fatal Stabbing of Israeli Policewoman

The Islamic State group on Friday claimed responsibility for the fatal stabbing of an Israeli policewoman outside Jerusalem's Old City.

AFP

Updated:June 17, 2017, 8:11 AM IST
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IS Claims Responsibility of Fatal Stabbing of Israeli Policewoman
Israeli police stand around a body of a Palestinian in Jerusalem. (Image: AP)
Beirut: The Islamic State group on Friday claimed responsibility for the fatal stabbing of an Israeli policewoman outside Jerusalem's Old City.

It was reported to be the first time the Islamic State group has claimed an attack in Israel.

The jihadist group, in an online statement, said three IS fighters had targeted "a gathering of Jews" in an operation on Friday during which the three attackers were killed by Israeli police.

The group warned that "this attack will not be the last."

During the attack, the police officer was killed and others were wounded, according to IS.

However, Hamas on Friday said the three Palestinians shot dead in Jerusalem after the fatal stabbing of an Israeli policewoman belonged to local Islamist and leftist movements, rejecting an earlier claim by the Islamic State group.

"The claim by the Islamic State group is an attempt to muddy the waters," said Sami Abou Zouhri, spokesman for the Islamist movement which runs the Gaza strip.

The attack was carried out by "two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a third from Hamas", he said.

The attack took place as Muslims marked the end of the third Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan, during which tens of thousands of Palestinians from east Jerusalem and the West Bank attended prayers at the nearby Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site.

The policewoman was stabbed and critically injured and later died in hospital of her wounds. She was identified as Hadas Malka, 23, a staff sergeant major.

Israeli police said the three Palestinian assailants were killed.

According to police, two perpetrators opened fire at a group of police officers who returned fire, and a third stabbed the border policewoman a short distance away before being shot.

This was the first time that the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack in Israel, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist organisations.

In its statement IS said the attack was "revenge for the religion of Allah and the sanctities of the violated Muslims."

"Let the Jews watch for the demise of their state at the hands of the soldiers of the Caliphate," the statement added.

Israel had eased restrictions on the entrance of Palestinians from the West Bank for Ramadan, including permitting daily family visits during Sundays through Thursdays.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a phone consultation with the chief of police and public security minister, and decided to cancel the family visits, a police statement read.

Netanyahu, however, did not revoke the permission given to Palestinian men aged over 40 from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem for Friday prayers, police said.

The Shin Bet internal security agency identified the three perpetrators as Braa Salah and Asama Atta, both born in 1998, and Adel Ankush, born the following year.

All three were from Deir Abu Mashal, a village near Ramallah, and had been arrested for or involved in "popular terror activity," a Shin Bet statement read.

A fourth Palestinian, a Hebron resident who had been identified by Palestinian security as a perpetrator, was in fact a passerby who was wounded by gunshots and taken to hospital, Israeli police said.

 
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