May 24. 2024. 6:26

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EU condemns Tel Aviv terror attack

Israeli policemen, forensics experts, and paramedics stand outside the venue that was the scene of a shooting attack along Dizengoff Avenue in the centre of Tel Aviv on 9 March, 2023. A gunman who shot and wounded three people in Tel Aviv late on 9 March was killed by police, Israeli Interior Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said. The shooting took place on Dizengoff Avenue, a popular nightlife spot in the centre of Tel Aviv, where a Palestinian attack killed three people in April 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

‘’This senseless act demonstrates once again how urgent it is to stop the cycle of violence and de-escalate the situation. We urge all parties to show restraint and not to react to such provocations,’’ said an EU spokesperon.

The attack took place when the Palestinian terrorist, Mutaz Salah al-Khawaja, 23, began shooting at passersby at the intersection of Dizengoff Street and Ben-Gurion Boulevard at around 9.00pm. He then fled to a nearby building before later leaving and being shot dead by four people, including police officers and an off-duty reserve IDF officer.

Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv confirmed that one of the shooting victims was given emergency life-saving surgery on arrival but that their life remained in danger.

Injuries to the other two were described as non-life threatening and their condition as “serious and light-to-moderate”.

Clashes later occurred between troops and locals in al-Khawaja’s West Bank home village of Ni’lin when troops entered to map out his home following Defence Minister Yoav Gallant’s order for its immediate razing.


The IDF confirmed one “hit”, while Al-Khawaja’s father and another family member were arrested as locals launched Molotov cocktails, hurled stones, and set up flaming roadblocks.

Earlier on Thursday, three Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists were shot dead after opening fire on undercover Israeli forces personnel attempting an arrest raid in the West Bank village of Jaba’, south of Jenin.

Thursday’s events follow a previous week in which deadly terror attacks killed Israeli brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv and Elan Ganeles, and also saw the riot by settlers in Huwara claim the life of one Palestinian resident.

The rise in terrorism in recent months has left 14 Israelis dead and many others, including the latest victims, injured.

Earlier this week, the EU and its member states expressed "deep concern" at "the increase of violence and extremism in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, which are leading to appalling numbers of Israeli and Palestinian victims, including children."

The EU said in a statement: "We call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to de-escalate the situation and to refrain from actions that will increase the already high level of tension. Settlements are illegal under international law. Israel must stop settlement expansion, prevent settler violence, and ensure the perpetrators are held accountable. Military operations must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law. There must be an immediate end to terror attacks, which should be condemned by everyone, and to practices that support them. The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip requires further easing of restrictions. The status quo of the Holy Sites must be upheld in line with previous understandings and with respect to Jordan’s special role. Peaceful coexistence between Christians, Jews and Muslims must be maintained."

"All these issues are obstacles to peace," the EU said, commending the efforts of the US, Jordan, and Egypt to de-escalate and support the Aqaba communique. "All parties should observe the agreements in Aqaba in good faith."

"It is vital to restore a political horizon towards a two-state solution. Only a negotiated agreement offers a chance of security and peace for all."

The EU statement said "there is an urgent need for a new perspective for peace".

"Three weeks ago, the EU High Representative/Vice President (Josep Borrell) met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal and with Arab League Secretary-General Aboul Gheit. They agreed to revive and build on the Arab Peace Initiative, and the EU reaffirmed its proposal of an unprecedented package of economic, political and security support in the context of a final status agreement as endorsed in the Council conclusions of December 2013. In this effort, we work closely with other Arab and international partners. While we cannot force the parties to make peace, we share a responsibility to prepare the ground. Security, the rule of law and peace in the Middle East, are a priority for the EU."

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