Terrorist shooting attack failed to hinder Israeli summit with Arab states

Israeli police say that three officers were wounded in a suspected terrorist shooting attack that was captured in part on surveillance video, in which at least four people, including the two gunmen, were killed in the northern city of Hadera.

Officials suspect the terrorist attack was timed to coincide with the historic Negev Summit that began on Sunday in Kibbutz Sde Boker, the home and burial place of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

Israel for the first time in its history is hosting four Arab foreign ministers, in an event that highlights Israel’s new role as a major diplomatic player in the Middle East.

Four top representatives of Arab states are gathering together with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, in a move that demonstrates an immense shift in the Middle Eastern diplomatic sands.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

After meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Blinken acknowledged the Biden administration’s “ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security and noted the recent congressional approval of $1 billion to restock the Jewish state’s Iron Dome short-range missile defense system.

Following the surprise trilateral meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed in Sharm e-Sheikh last week, the Negev Summit highlights Israel’s strengthening normalized relations with its neighbors under the rubric of the Abraham Accords.

Emirati, Bahraini and Egyptian foreign ministers arrived in Israel, where Iranian aggression in the region is expected to be the main topic of discussion at the summit.

The UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco formalized diplomatic ties with Israel in 2020. Egypt has had a peace deal with Israel since 1979, with Jordan following in 1994.

The gunmen both used automatic weapons and their initial actions were caught on a surveillance video that was posted on Twitter.

“Two people were killed this evening in a terror attack in Hadera after terrorists opened fire on them with automatic weapons,” said the Israeli Embassy in the US. “May their memories be a blessing. Three people, including two policemen, were wounded.”

The European Union Ambassador to Israel quickly denounced the use of terrorism.

“Following the dreadful news of another senseless terror attack, which claimed civilian lives in Hadera in Central Israel,” said EU Ambassador Dimiter Tzantchev. “My thoughts are with the victims and their families. We shall overcome violent extremism.”

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