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Two Israeli police officers were killed and six were wounded in a shooting in the northern Israeli city of Hadera on Sunday night. The attackers, Arab Israelis from the town of Um al-Fahm, were shot and killed.
According to an Israeli security official, the two attackers were sympathizers of ISIS, which later claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. It came five days after another attack in Beer Sheva, during which an Arab man from southern Israel killed at least four Israelis in a stabbing and car-ramming spree before a passerby shot and killed him.
Closed-captioning footage showed two men opening fire with various weapons on the main street of Hadera. One of them wore body armor with the symbol of the Punisher from the Marvel movies. Israeli police said the men had been carrying knives, guns and some 1,100 bullets.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement on Monday morning calling on Israeli citizens to be alert for potential attacks. “The second terrorist attack inside Israel by Islamic State supporters requires the security forces to adjust quickly to the new threat, and we will do so. I call on citizens to continue being alert. Together we will defeat this enemy as well.”
The attack unfolded a few hours after a historic two-day summit had begun in the Negev, with foreign ministers from Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid updated his colleagues on the assault during dinner.
All foreign ministers condemned the deadly attack at the closing joint news conference and sent condolences to the victims’ families.
Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, said, “Our presence today is, I think, the best response to such attacks.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who initiated and hosted the summit, promised that this would be a recurring event. “What we are doing here today is making history. Building a new regional architecture based on progress, technology, religious tolerance, security and intelligence cooperation. Together with our closest friend, the United States, we are today opening a door before all the peoples of the region, including the Palestinians, and offering them to replace the way of terror and destruction with a shared future of progress and success.”
The historic Negev summit was being convened amid reports of the imminent signing of the new nuclear accord with Iran. The ministers said they wanted to send a clear message to Iran and its proxies.
Bahrain’s foreign minister, Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, addressed the recent attacks by the Houthis, an Iran-backed militia in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He said the pressing security and stability of the region had made the need for cooperation urgent.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed that cooperation was key, with progress possible “only if we will work together to confront common security challenges and threats, including those from Iran and its proxies.”
On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh criticized the summit, calling it “one big illusion” because it excluded the Palestinians. Speaking at a government meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh added that the forum constitutes a warrantless “prize” for Israel.
Jordan’s King Abdullah, who did not participate in the event, has traveled to Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Morocco, the UAE, and Bahrain signed normalization agreements with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords initiative led by former President Donald Trump in 2020.