Hamas praises Tel Aviv terror attack as ‘heroic’ response to IDF operation in Jenin

Palestinian terror group claims gunman as a member, but stops short of claiming responsibility; Australia, France condemn deliberate targeting of civilians

Police and rescue forces at the scene of a car ramming terror attack in north Tel Aviv on June 4, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Police and rescue forces at the scene of a car ramming terror attack in north Tel Aviv on June 4, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The Hamas terror group on Tuesday praised as a “heroic” operation the car-ramming and stabbing attack in Tel Aviv that wounded seven people, four of them seriously.

The Gaza-ruling terror group said the attack was “an initial response to [Israel’s] crimes against our people in the Jenin camp,” a reference to the ongoing major IDF operation in the northern West Bank town, which Israel says has become a hotbed of terror.

The attacker was identified by the Shin Bet security agency as Abed al-Wahab Khalaila, 20, from the southern West Bank town of as-Samu, near Hebron.

He had no known prior security-related offenses.

The Hamas terror group said Khalaila was a member but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack.

Khalaila was shot dead by an armed civilian after he crashed into pedestrians and then got out of the vehicle and stabbed several others.

Foreign governments condemned the attack.

France condemned it “in the strongest possible terms,” with the French Embassy adding: “All our thoughts are with the injured and their loved ones. Nothing can ever justify terrorism.”

Australian Ambassador Ralph King said he was “shocked by news of the terror attack” and that “the deliberate targeting of civilians can never be justified.”

Italy’s ambassador to Israel, Sergio Barbanti, also said he was “shocked” by the incident.

“Italy stands firmly with Israel against terrorism,” Barbanti said.

The European Union envoy to Israel, Dimiter Tzantchev, said, “Violence against civilians is never justified. The EU stands with Israel in its fight against terrorism.”

A series of Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis has killed 24 people since the start of this year. Many of the attackers came from Jenin and its environs.

On Monday, in another suspected terror attack, a Palestinian teenager stabbed and lightly hurt an Israeli man in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak.

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