Tensions rise after gun attack in settlement leaves 3 Israelis dead

Israeli security officers stand near a check point at the entrance to Har Adar settlement near Jerusalem, on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 27 September 2017

Tensions rise after gun attack in settlement leaves 3 Israelis dead

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli security forces in an illegal settlement outside Jerusalem on Tuesday after a gun attack in which three people died.
Israeli police said Nimr Al-Jamal, 37, a father of four children from the nearby village of Beit Surik, arrived at a rear entrance to the Har Adar settlement at about 7 a.m. as security guards were opening a gate to admit Palestinian laborers with permits.
When security guards became suspicious, Al-Jamal pulled out a pistol hidden under his shirt and opened fire, fatally wounding three Israelis — a policeman and two security guards — before he was shot and killed.
Israeli security services said Al-Jamal had “significant personal and family problems, including those regarding family violence” and that his wife had left for Jordan several weeks ago.
Al-Jamal held a work permit for the settlements, which are issued only after security vetting.
Shay Retter, the head of Har Adar’s security committee, said between 100 and 150 Palestinian laborers entered the settlement each day to work.
At the scene of the attack, Mosheer Abu Qatish, a paramedic volunteer from the neighboring Palestinian-Israeli town of Abu Gosh, treated wounded victims. “Unfortunately, the three more seriously injured people were pronounced dead at the scene,” he told the Jerusalem Post.
“A fourth injured person was treated at the scene before he was transported to hospital.”
Fatah official Munir Al-Jaghoub told Arab News: “Israel alone is responsible for Palestinian reactions to the crimes of the occupation, and if it continues its aggression against the Palestinian people.”
Israel, he said, “must be well aware of the consequences of its continued push toward violence, the policy of house demolitions, the forced displacement of Jerusalemites, and the successive incursions of settlers to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”
Hamas spokesman Hazim Qasem said the attack was “a new chapter of Al-Quds intifada and that is affirming from youth to continue the fighting until full freedom of people and land.”
A wave of unrest that broke out two years ago has largely subsided in recent months. Since October 2015, at least 295 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 50 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton have been killed.
Israeli authorities say that most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks. Others were shot dead in protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians say the daily frustration and routine military violence imposed by Israel’s nearly half-century occupation of the Palestinian territory are the main drivers behind the attacks.


Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine

Updated 3 min 33 sec ago

Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine

  • An Iranian official said “the flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out”
  • He said Iran is working to recover the data and cabin recordings, and that it may send the flight recorders to Ukrain or France

TEHRAN: The Iranian official leading the investigation into the Ukrainian jetliner that was accidentally shot down by the Revolutionary Guard appeared to backtrack Sunday on plans to send the flight recorders abroad for analysis, a day after saying they would be sent to Kiev.
Hassan Rezaeifar was quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency as saying “the flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out.”
He said Iran is working to recover the data and cabin recordings, and that it may send the flight recorders — commonly known as black boxes — to Ukraine or France. “But as of yet, we have made no decision.”
The same official was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Saturday as saying the recorders would be sent to Ukraine, where French, American and Canadian experts would help analyze them. Iranian officials previously said the black boxes were damaged but are usable.
It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts. Iran may be hesitant to turn over the recorders for fear that more details from the crash — including the harrowing 20 seconds between when the first and second surface-to-air missiles hit the plane — will come to light.
The Guard’s air defenses shot the plane down shortly after it took off from Tehran on Jan. 8, killing all 176 people on board. Hours earlier, the Guard had launched ballistic missiles at US troops in Iraq in response to the US airstrike that killed Iran’s top general in Baghdad. Officials say lower-level officers mistook the plane for a US cruise missile.
Iranian officials initially said the crash was caused by a technical problem and invited countries that lost citizens to help investigate. Three days later, Iran admitted responsibility after Western leaders said there was strong evidence the plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile.
The victims included 57 Canadian citizens as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 people from Sweden, four Afghans and four British citizens. Most of those killed were Iranians. The other five nations have demanded Iran accept full responsibility and pay compensation to the victims’ families.
The plane was a Boeing 737-800 that was designed and built in the US The plane’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint company between French group Safran and US group GE Aviation. Investigators from both countries have been invited to take part in the probe.