Two gunmen from the Palestinian village of Yatta entered Israel and opened fire in an outdoor market in Tel Aviv Wednesday night, injuring six and killing four.
The shooting, which Israeli authorities are calling a terrorist attack, occurred in the first week of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month for which Israel granted 83,000 travel permits to Palestinians.
In response to the attacks, Israel has now frozen those permits, and the military has deployed troops to the West Bank, declaring the village of Yatta a closed military zone and promising two more battalions in the West Bank.
The shooting occurred less than two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed ultra-right politician Avigdor Lieberman as Defense Minister, who, in contrast to previous Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, has refused to release the bodies of the two attackers back to Palestine in an effort to dissuade more attacks, a move Ya’alon says will only inflame tensions. Hamas did not claim responsibility for the shooting, but promised more “surprises” for “Zionists” during the holy month.
Against the backdrop of the U.S. presidential election, the attack brings U.S. foreign policy in Israel back into the fore. What constitutes an appropriate response, and how does it impact Palestinians? What does this mean for the future of Israeli and Palestinian security, peace in the region, and U.S. involvement?
David Makovsky, Director, Project on the Middle East Peace Process, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy - a think tank described as advancing U.S. interests in the Middle East; In 2013-2014, he worked in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of State, serving as a senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.
Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation - a coalition of organizations founded in 2002