A member of the Kassam Brigades.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah)
Hamas praised a shooting attack near Nablus, in which 35-year-old Rabbi Raziel Shevach was killed, calling it “heroic.”
Shevach, who was a resident of the Havat Gilad outpost in the West Bank, came under fire on Tuesday evening while driving his car on Route 60, according to the IDF. He later died at a hospital in Kfar Saba.
“Hamas blesses the heroic Nablus operation that comes as a result of the Zionist occupation’s violations and crimes at the expense of our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem and al-Aksa Mosque,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in statement posted on the Islamist group’s official website on Tuesday.
After President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated the relocation of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city in early December, Hamas Politburo chairman Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians to launch a “new intifada” against Israel in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Barhoum added that the shooting attack is “an affirmation that our Palestinian people’s compass is Jerusalem and al-Aksa Mosque and that its choice is the resistance.”
Hamas frequently praises attacks against Israelis and the IDF.
Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, also spoke highly of the shooting attack.
“The Nablus operation is the first practical response with fire to remind the enemy’s leaders and those who support them that what you fear is coming,” its spokesman Abu Obeida said, without clarifying.
It is not clear who planned and carried out the shooting attack.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his top advisers have not commented on the shooting attack. However, the PA president has said many times that he opposes attacks against Israelis and that he has ordered the PA security forces to prevent them.