Israel Intensifies Troops in West Bank Following Tel Aviv Attack

Israel has deployed hundreds of additional troops to the occupied West Bank in response to an attack that killed four people at a popular Tel Aviv nightspot.

On Wednesday, Khaled Mohammad  and Mohamad Ahmad Makhamrah, both from the Hebron area in the occupied West Bank, opened fire in Tel Aviv, killing four and wounding five Israelis, reported Al Jazeera.

Avigdor Lieberman, the newly installed defense minister is reported as saying: “There will be intensive action by the police, the army and other security services, not just to catch every accomplice to this murder but also to prevent further incidents.”

As a result, the Israeli military announced that two additional battalions were deployed to the West Bank “in accordance with situation assessments”, reported Al Jazeera.

Earlier today, defense officials suspended 83,000 permits for Palestinians in the West Bank to visit relatives in Israel during the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan, reported COGAT, an Israeli defense body.

Permits were further frozen for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to visit relatives in Israel, travel abroad and attend prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, COGAT said.

The military had also frozen Israeli work permits for 204 of the attackers’ relatives, and was preventing Palestinians from leaving and entering the West Bank village of Yatta, the attackers’ home village.

Israel’s army locked down the Palestinian town of Yatta, where the attackers were from, with soldiers patrolling and stopping cars as they entered and exited.

Al Jazeera said the revoking of Ramadan permits was likely to cause anger among Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, as it would be seen as collective punishment.

A spokesman for Hamas, the Palestinian group that governs the Gaza Strip and which is also present in the West Bank, called the attack a “heroic operation”.

(AL Jazeera, PC)

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