Terror Attack in Har Adar, West Bank – Travel Risks
27 Sep 2017
Three Israelis (a border police officer and two security guards) have been shot dead and one other wounded, after a Palestinian gunman opened fire at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on 26 September 2017. The gunman was subsequently shot and killed. Police have reported that the gunman had queued up to enter the settlement amongst Palestinian labourers.
- Three Israelis have been killed and one injured by a Palestinian gunman at the entrance to Har Adar in the occupied West Bank on 26 September 2017.
- It is unclear who conducted the attack but it has been praised by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
- At least 50 Israelis and five foreigners have been killed in terror attacks since 2015.
Terrorism: Three Israelis (a border police officer and two security guards) have been shot dead and one other wounded, after a Palestinian gunman opened fire at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on 26 September 2017. The gunman was subsequently shot and killed. Police have reported that the gunman had queued up to enter the settlement amongst Palestinian labourers.
Israeli media have reported that the attacker came from Beit Surik, about 1.5km from Har Adar and possessed a valid work permit to work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Solace Global Comment
No group has yet to claim responsibility of the attack. However, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Gaza-based militant organisations, have welcomed it. Islamic Jihad have claimed that the attack “embodies the living conscience of the Palestinian people and cause”, while Hamas stated, “Once again Jerusalem proves that it is the heart of the conflict with the occupation…The operation this morning in northern Jerusalem is a new chapter of the Jerusalem intifada and… an affirmation that our uprising youth will continue to fight until the people and land are completely liberated”.
While Palestinian terror groups have not encouraged full conflict with Israel, they have encouraged these types of low technology attacks. Since 2015, there has been a wave of stabbings, shootings, and car-rammings of Israeli targets since 2015, with 50 Israelis and five foreign nationals killed during this period. During the same period, around 300 Palestinians have been killed, most of whom Israel says were assailants. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed this incident could represent a new pattern of shooting attacks.
Both Israeli and Palestinian authorities have blamed the other for being the underlying cause behind these attacks. Palestine highlights that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal according to international law, though this has been disputed by Israel’s government. For its part, Israel has claimed that Palestinian incitement fuelled the attacks. This attack comes as US envoy Jason Greenblatt arrives in Jerusalem in an attempt to revive Israel-Palestine peace talks, this attack is likely to impact the likelihood of any talks.
Travellers in Israel and Palestine, especially those in Jerusalem and the West Bank, should expect heightened security levels over the medium-term. It is unclear what reaction Israel will have to this attack but further arrests and raids are likely. This could in turn lead to protests by Palestinians, with violence likely, especially so at checkpoints after Friday prayers in the West Bank. Clashes are also common at places such as Har Adar â illegal Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory. Tensions are likely to be heightened, and terror attacks more likely, at specific times throughout the year. This includes both Jewish and Islamic religious festivals such as Passover or Ramadan. Attacks are also more likely during national holidays such as Jerusalem day in May. Local or international situations may heighten tensions further in the region.
The first three steps for people exposed to a terror attack or active shooter incidents are to run, hide, and tell. It is also vital that those in Israel and Palestine carefully follow the instructions of Israeli officials.
It is possible that this attack may represent the beginning of an uptick in attacks by Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs on Israeli targets but this is not clear at this time. Travellers to the West Bank should undertake careful journey management planning. Depending on the exact area of travel and profile of traveller, it may be advisable to employ a security-trained driver and close protection officer. For all travel to Israel and Palestine, travellers should maintain a heightened level of situational awareness and sensible security provisions. Solace Global would advise all clients travelling throughout this region to use travel-tracking technology with an intelligence feed, in order to gain rapid access to security updates. Such technology can also notify others in case an emergency occurs. This is essential in identifying and avoiding areas of high risk in real time, and will enable users to further mitigate the risks arising from travelling in Israel and Palestine.
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