Israeli aggressiveness and apartheid policies, particularly acts at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, have been blamed by Palestinians for the attack in Elad on Thursday night, which killed three Israelis.
Witnesses stated two assailants got out of their vehicles and attacked passers-by with axes, killing three people and injuring four others before fleeing in the same vehicle.
Following violent skirmishes between Israelis and Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Israeli officials launched a large manhunt on Friday for the two Palestinians suspected of carrying out the murders. Assad Yussef Al-Rifai, 19, and Subhi Imad Abu Shukair, 20, have been named as suspects.
An surge in Jewish worshippers in Al-Aqsa has enraged Palestinians, violating a long-standing understanding that Jews can visit but not pray in the area.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack in Elad and warned that it could lead to more unrest.
The attack, according to Hamas and another Palestinian armed group, Islamic Jihad, was an unavoidable result of the turmoil at Al-Aqsa.
“Our people’s outrage at the occupation’s onslaught on holy sites is reflected in this operation,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem stated. “The storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque will not be forgotten.”
The executions were also blamed on Israeli policies, according to Jenin Governor Maj. Gen. Akram Rajoub. He told Arab News that Israel follows a “apartheid rule” in which everything belongs to them and the Palestinians are denied anything. As a result, Palestinians are enraged, and they are paying the price with their blood. Palestinians are suffering as a result of a political crisis caused by the arrogant Israeli government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
“All attacks against Israelis are the result of a lack of a political horizon, as well as the occupation’s repression of Palestinians and the green light given to settlers to attack Palestinians while being protected by the Israeli army,” he stated.
He went on to say that the Israelis tried to find a solution by tightening security, imposing economic sanctions on Palestinians, and cutting off basic services to punish them, but nothing worked.
“What they must try now is a political solution that provides Palestinians hope for a free future, and I am confident that it will succeed,” he said. “The problem is that Israel chooses every choice that enrages Palestinians and adds to their suffering. Every solution that leads to Palestinian and Israeli security and stability is rejected by the Israelis.”
Subhi Sbeihat, Abu Shukair’s grandpa, who lives in Rummana, a village near Jenin, claimed his grandson, an electrical contractor, is “religiously committed to good morals” and well-liked in the village.
His grandson, however, “could not bear the pressures and continual aggression against Al-Aqsa and fellow Palestinians,” he noted, “like any Palestinian under occupation.”
He said his last communication with his grandson was on Thursday afternoon, and that he had gone to Ramallah for Eid.
He stated that at 4 a.m. on Friday, Israeli police detained Abu Shukair’s father at his workplace in Jdeidet Al-Makr, Galilee.
Sbeihat also blamed Israel for the Elad incident and other “operations” carried out by Palestinian teenagers, claiming that they were motivated by “the everyday crimes the state of Israel conducts against the Palestinian people, as well as its incursions and violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque.”