Two Israelis were wounded today in a West Bank shooting attack near the settlement of Kochav Hashachar further ratcheting up tensions after yesterday’s attack which left four Israeli settlers dead.
As with yesterday’s attack the armed faction of Hamas took credit for the attack, saying it was retaliation for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and that more attacks would follow. Much of Hamas is seen opposing the peace talks, and the attacks threaten to provide another excuse for the already tenuous talks to fail.
Danny Danon, an MP with Israel’s ruling Likud Party, announced a retaliatory “end” to the West Bank settlement freeze, a freeze which was poised to end in a few weeks at any rate, and oversaw the public violation of the legal ban on construction by pouring the cornerstone of a new building in occupied territory.
As with Hamas, a number of officials in the Israeli government oppose the peace talks and have used the shootings as an excuse to condemn the talks, saying the shootings prove the entire Palestinian population everywhere only understand violence. Though the talks were unlikely to go anywhere to begin with it seems the shootings, and not the settlements, could end up the excuse for the failure.
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