Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Hebron

Israel Police in Jerusalem preparing for terror on Ramadan • Israel stepping up efforts to seize illegal weapons from Arab sector, Bennett says

 Israeli Police officers walks with Israeli soldiers as they patrol in Jerusalem on April 1, 2022.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israeli Police officers walks with Israeli soldiers as they patrol in Jerusalem on April 1, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

A Palestinian man was killed during clashes with Israeli security forces in Hebron, Israeli media reported on Friday.

The man threw Molotov cocktails toward the Israeli forces during a riot in the city, according to the report. The man, who reportedly served time in an Israeli prison, was shot and died from his wounds in a hospital in the West Bank city.

The IDF has been conducting operations in the West Bank and Israel Police announced it will spread thousands of officers throughout Jerusalem's crowded areas and religious centers, as the security establishment braces for the wave of terror that has been engulfing the Jewish state over the last two weeks.

"We have concluded our preparations for the month of Ramadan," said the head of Jerusalem's Operations Directorate Erez Tavor.

"The goal is to allow everyone to practice their religion freely. Whoever chooses to disrupt this order and act in violence will be arrested. We will not allow inciters to ruin daily life," said Tavor. 

 SECURITY FORCES stand guard as religious Jews visit the Temple Mount. (credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90) SECURITY FORCES stand guard as religious Jews visit the Temple Mount. (credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Friday morning issued a military directive to call up, on a volunteer basis, 300 reservists for the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) one day after Israel officially coined the current security operation Break the Wave.

The reservists would be broken up into three platoons courtesy of the directive, which will be in effect for 30 days. 

The order is an unusual one and comes in the wake of civilian terror attacks in cities in sovereign Israel. The intelligence community has been trying to avoid rising tensions in places like Gaza and the West Bank, especially ahead of Ramadan, which starts on Saturday. 

Last year, tensions in Ramadan, particularly limitations placed on prayer accessibility to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem were one of the catalysts for the breakout of an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, dubbed Operation Guardian of the Walls. 

Bennett calls for the seizure of illegal weaponry

Israel is stepping up its operations to seize illegal firearms prevalent in the Arab sector, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Twitter in a message to the Israeli public ahead of Shabbat.

"The illegal weapons market, valued at hundreds of thousands (of NIS), has grown over many years," Bennett said. "Now is the time to eradicate it."

"Most Arab-Israeli citizens are imploring us to take the weapons off their streets and to continue our operation against crime [in the sector]," the prime minister added.

Bennett also reiterated his call for Israeli citizens to bear arms, stating that not only police officers and soldiers but also civilians who carry are the ones who historically succeeded in thwarting terror attacks.

Explosive balloons

An Israel Police sapper determined on Friday morning that a string of balloons carrying a suspicious object was not explosive or incendiary. Earlier, police units were called to the Ibim area in the Gaza border area after a number of residents reported seeing a string of balloons with a suspicious explosive attached, Ynet reporter for the South Matan Tzuri tweeted on Friday morning. The report was later confirmed by Israel Police. 

This is the first report of an explosive balloon in the area since September when three fires broke out as a result of one. An investigator determined then that they were caused by incendiary balloons. 

The report comes amid a week of high tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Eleven lives have been claimed so far in a number of different terror attacks, and Israel has launched a security operation dubbed "Break the Wave" to curb any attacks and heighten security ahead of Ramadan. 

 Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Gush Etzion stabbing attack

On Thursday, a civilian was stabbed on a bus with a screwdriver in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc by a Palestinian resident of Tarkumiya near Hebron. On Friday morning, Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem updated that his condition has improved – the man regained consciousness and is breathing on his own, Ynet reported.