Israel suspends permits after deadly attack
JERUSALEM - ReutersThe Israeli military revoked on June 9 permits for 83,000 Palestinians to visit Israel and said it would send hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank after a Palestinian gun attack that killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault by two gunmen on Wednesday in a trendy shopping and dining market near Israel’s Defense Ministry, but Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups were quick to praise it. The assailants came from near Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. They dressed in suits and ties and posed as customers at a restaurant, ordering a drink and a chocolate brownie before pulling out automatic weapons and opening fire, sending diners fleeing in panic.
Two women and two men were killed and six others were wounded. The attack followed a lull in recent weeks after what had been near-daily stabbings and shootings on Israeli streets. It was the deadliest single incident since an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in November 2014 that killed five. The Tel Aviv gunmen, cousins in their 20s who security experts said appeared to have entered Israel without permits, were quickly apprehended. One of them was shot and wounded.
“It is clear that they spent time planning and training and choosing their target,” Barak Ben-Zur, former head of research at Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency, told reporters.
“They got some support, although we don’t know for sure who their supporters are,” he said, adding that they appeared to have used improvised automatic weapons.