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Israeli leaders hail arrest of alleged terrorists in deadly Ariel shooting attack

Palestinian media identifies suspected gunmen as Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei, who were reportedly captured at home in nearby West Bank village without a struggle

Israeli security personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022 (Flash90)
Israeli security personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022 (Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Saturday’s events as they happened.

Police officer injured in hit-and-run near Shoham; does not appear to be terror

The scene of a hit and run incident near Shoham, April 30, 2022. (Courtesy)
The scene of a hit and run incident near Shoham, April 30, 2022. (Courtesy)

A police officer is severely wounded in a hit-and-run near the central Israeli town of Shoham. Police say it is a “suspected criminal incident,” meaning it is not believed to be terrorism.

A stolen vehicle hit the officer, then fled the scene, police say.

Officers later found the vehicle near the Kach Junction after searching the area and setting up roadblocks, police say in a statement.

Police are searching for the suspects, with the help of a helicopter, and are scouring the area for evidence.

The Magen David Adom emergency service says a man around 30 was injured in the incident, apparently the police officer.

He was found at the scene semi-conscious with severe injuries to his head and body, and rushed to the Tel Hashomer Medical Center for treatment, MDA says.

The incident appears to be criminal in nature, not terrorism. It comes a day after a deadly attack at the West Bank city of Ariel, and initially sparked speculation that it was another attack.

Natural gas pipeline in Sinai blown up by suspected jihadists — Egyptian officials

EL ARISH, Egypt — Suspected Islamic State jihadists blew up a natural gas pipeline today in Egypt’s restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, causing a fire but no casualties, security officials say.

The officials say the suspected militants planted explosives under a pipeline in the town of Bir al-Abd.

The expulsion sent thick flames of fire shooting into the sky, and authorities stopped the flow of gas to extinguish the fire, according to eyewitnesses.

The officials speak on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak to media and the eyewitnesses ask not to be named for fear of reprisal.

No group immediately claims the attack which caused no human casualties.

The Islamic State group affiliate, which is centered in Northern Sinai, however, has claimed previous attacks targeted gas pipelines between Egypt and both Jordan and Israel.

Egypt is battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in the Sinai that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. The militants have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and Christians.

Today’s attack comes as the jihadists suffered heavy losses in recent months with Egyptian security forces, aided by armed tribesmen, intensifying their efforts to eliminate the group.

Boris Johnson to Zelensky: UK ‘more committed than ever to… ensuring Putin fails’

In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, center left, and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center right, walk past a memorial for Heavenly Hundred, near Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine,  on April 9, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, center left, and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center right, walk past a memorial for Heavenly Hundred, near Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 9, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

LONDON — Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the progress of the UN effort to evacuate people from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol and “offered the UK’s continued economic and humanitarian support” during a talk today with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“The prime minister reiterated that he is more committed than ever to reinforcing Ukraine and ensuring [Russian President Vladimir] Putin fails, noting how hard the Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom,” Johnson’s Downing Street office says.

“He confirmed that the UK will continue to provide additional military aid to give the Ukrainians the equipment they needed to defend themselves,” the statement says.

The UN has been attempting to broker an evacuation in the port city where some 100,000 civilians remain. Up to 1,000 civilians are living beneath a Soviet-era steel plant in Mariupol, according to Ukrainian officials.

Ukraine has not said how many fighters are also in the plant, but the Russians put the number at about 2,000.

20 Ukrainian civilians leave Mariupol steelworks, says deputy regiment commander

Smoke rises from the grounds of the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol on April 29, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Andrey Borodulin/AFP)
Smoke rises from the grounds of the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol on April 29, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Andrey Borodulin/AFP)

KYIV, Ukraine — A group of 20 civilians are leaving the Azovstal steelworks, where the last Ukrainian troops are holed up in the Black Sea port of Mariupol, the soldiers there say today.

“Twenty civilians, women and children… have been transferred to a suitable place and we hope that they will be evacuated to Zaporizhzhia, on territory controlled by Ukraine,” says Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment.

Netanyahu calls for ‘strong national government’ after deadly Ariel attack

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 28, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 28, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu calls for a “strong national government” following the deadly terror shooting outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

“We can’t wait for the next attack,” says the former prime minister, who has been stepping up his calls for a new government since the ruling coalition lost its parliamentary majority earlier this month.

Netanyahu also sends his condolences to the family of Vyacheslav Golev, the security guard killed in the attack.

Ariel shooting attack victim named as Vyacheslav Golev, 23, from Bet Shemesh

An undated photo of Vyacheslav Golev, who was killed in a shooting attack near Ariel on April 29. (Courtesy)
An undated photo of Vyacheslav Golev, who was killed in a shooting attack near Ariel on April 29. (Courtesy)

The security guard killed in a shooting attack near Ariel last night is identified as 23-year-old Vyacheslav Golev.

Golev was a former student at Ariel University. He is survived by his parents and seven siblings who live in Bet Shemesh, and his fiancée who was stationed at the guard post during the attack.

The Bet Shemesh municipality says it is embracing the family.

“The security guard showed supreme heroism and saved the life of the security guard who worked with him,” mayor Aliza Bloch says.

The date and time of Golev’s funeral are not immediately set.

‘There’s no terrorist we won’t reach,’ Bennett says after suspected Ariel gunmen nabbed

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a Holocaust memorial day ceremony held at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 28, 2022 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a Holocaust memorial day ceremony held at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 28, 2022 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

As Shabbat ends, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issues his first response to the terror attack outside the Ariel settlement, where Palestinian gunmen shot dead a security guard last night.

In a statement, Bennett expresses condolences to the family of the security guard, who he noted used his body to shield his girlfriend and protect her from the attackers.

“There is no terrorist we won’t reach and settle the score with,” the premier says. “Our war against terror is long.”

Odesa governor says Russian missile destroyed airport runway

KYIV, Ukraine — A Russian missile destroyed the runway at Odesa airport in southern Ukraine today but there were no victims, the regional governor Maxim Marchenko says on his Telegram account.

“Today, the enemy struck with a Bastion coastal defense missile launched from Crimea. Odesa airport runway has been destroyed. Thank God there were no victims,” the governor says in a video.

Palestinian media identifies alleged terrorists who killed Ariel security guard

Palestinian media names the two terrorists who are allegedly behind a deadly shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Ariel last night.

Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei, both in their 20s, were arrested in the West Bank town of Qarawat Bani Hassan earlier today.

Israeli authorities did not name the two suspects or say if they were affiliated with a terror group. Earlier, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed the attack in which a 23-year-old Israeli security guard was killed.

Gantz, Lapid hail capture of suspected Ariel terrorists

Defense Minister Benny Gantz praises Israeli security forces for arresting the suspected Palestinian terrorists who shot dead a security guard at the Ariel settlement

“The State of Israel always defeats terror and will do whatever is needed… to defeat it now as well,” Gantz writes on Twitter.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also hails the arrest.

“Every terrorist needs to know that the security forces will catch up with him, those who helped him and those who sent him. We won’t allow terror to raise its head,” Lapid tweets.

Security forces arrest suspected terrorists who killed Ariel security guard

Israeli security and rescue personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022. (Flash90)
Israeli security and rescue personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022. (Flash90)

Counterterrorism officers have arrested two Palestinians allegedly behind a deadly shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Ariel, the Shin Bet security agency and Israel Police say.

The two alleged gunmen were arrested in the nearby town of Qarawat Bani Hassan. Both their weapons were also seized during the arrest, the Shin Bet says.

They have been taken for further questioning.

Sinwar warns Israel: Hamas ‘won’t hesitate to take any steps if Al-Aqsa is violated’

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's Gaza governor, speaks during a meeting in Gaza City, on April 30, 2022. (Mahmud Hamas/AFP)
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's Gaza governor, speaks during a meeting in Gaza City, on April 30, 2022. (Mahmud Hamas/AFP)

Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar threatens Israel against “violating” the Al-Aqsa Mosque in his first speech in nearly a year.

“Violating Al-Aqsa and Jerusalems means a regional, religious war,” Sinwar says. “We will not hesitate to take any steps if Al-Aqsa is violated.”

Tensions at the holy site, which is revered by both Muslims and Jews, helped touch off a war between Israel and Hamas last year.

Palestinians clashed repeatedly with Israeli forces at the site over the past month, leading to fears that the violence again spark a broader escalation.

“Our people must prepare for a great battle if the occupation does not cease its aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Sinwar adds.

Sinwar also slams Ra’am party chief Mansour Abbas. The Islamist party joined the Israeli coalition last year, becoming the first independent Arab party to become part of an Israeli government.

“I want to speak to Ra’am and the Knesset member Mansour Abbas. That you serve as a support to this government which violates Al-Aqsa is an unforgivable crime,” Sinwar says, calling for Ra’am to immediately leave the coalition.

The address was Sinwar’s first major public appearance in almost a year. Last June, the senior Hamas member gave a 90-minute speech in the aftermath of the May war with Israel, laying out his vision of what the terror group had achieved.

“If the conflict breaks out again — the shape of the Middle East will change. We have proven that there are those who defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Sinwar boasted at the time.

Macron: France to ‘intensify’ military, humanitarian aid for Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he leaves Percy military hospital after visiting soldiers injured during external operations and caregivers, in Clamart, near Paris, France, on April 28, 2022. (Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool/AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he leaves Percy military hospital after visiting soldiers injured during external operations and caregivers, in Clamart, near Paris, France, on April 28, 2022. (Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool/AFP)

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron says that France will “intensify” its supply of military and humanitarian support following a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelensky thanked France for “large-scale military shipments that contribute to the Ukrainian resistance,” Macron says, adding “that this support will continue to intensify, as will the humanitarian assistance provided by France.”

“The mission of French experts contributing to the collection of evidence to fight against impunity and allow the work of international justice concerning crimes committed in the context of the Russian aggression will continue,” he says.

The United States, France, the Czech Republic and other allies have provided Kyiv with hundreds of long-range artillery pieces to help it counter Moscow’s offensive in the Donbas.

Paris is sending its ultra-modern Caesar cannons.

The French presidency says that aid to Ukraine has amounted to “more than 615 tons of equipment, including medical equipment, generators for hospitals, food aid, shelter aid and emergency vehicles.”

Newly re-elected Macron says he wanted to “work actively during his second term to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, always maintaining close coordination with its European partners and allies.”

After deadly shooting attack, security beefed up at Ariel entrance

Authorities are laying down concrete barriers next to a guard post at the entrance of the West Bank settlement of Ariel, after a security guard was killed in a terror attack there last night.

The barriers are to protect the security guards while they operate outside of the guard post itself.

In the terror shooting last night, two gunmen drove up to the entrance of the community and opened fire into the post, killing a 23-year-old security guard, before driving off.

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