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Independence Day terror attack could force Israel to act in Gaza

The especially gruesome terror attack on Independence Day in which assailants attacked passers-by with axes might force Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to end Israel’s restraint in the Gaza Strip.
The Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, is decorated with Israeli national flags ahead of Israel's 74th Independence Day, Hebron, West Bank, May 3, 2022,

In the evening hours of May 5, two Palestinian terrorists shouting Allahu Akbar axed to death three Israeli men and wounded four others in the town of Elad. Police launched a massive manhunt to capture the attackers, whom it identified as As’ad Alrafa’ani, 19, and Sabhi abu Shakir, 20, both from the West Bank town of Jenin, a perennial hotbed of anti-Israel activity.

The horrifying killing spree could have strategic repercussions. Events of this kind have in the past marked watershed moments resulting in deep policy shifts. Such was the case when a suicide bomber entered the Park Hotel in the coastal town of Netanya in 2002 during a Passover celebration, blew himself up and killed 30 people. The attack and resulting shockwaves prompted then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to abandon a policy of relative restraint vis-a-vis Palestinian terrorism and order a massive military sweep of West Bank towns and refugee camps to rout out terrorist infrastructure. The operation, dubbed “Defensive Shield,” was considered to have effectively restored security to Israeli towns and villages.

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