Though former President Barack Obama has been out of office for nearly two full years now, the repercussions of his abysmally failed foreign policy decisions in the Middle East — especially regarding the perpetual conflict between Israelis and Palestinians — continue to ripple through the strategically important region.
A wave of violence swept through Israel and the Palestinian-controlled West Bank on Thursday, as two Israeli soldiers were shot dead and other Israeli soldiers were compelled to use deadly force to defend against an attempted truck attack, both of which were launched by suspected Hamas terrorists.
Meanwhile, two other Palestinians suspected of committing earlier deadly terrorist attacks were also shot and killed by Israeli forces.
Two separate terrorist attacks
The Washington Post reported that a Hamas gunman had exited a car he was riding in and opened fire at a bus stop near the West Bank Israeli settlement of Givat Assaf, murdering 19-year-old Cpl. Yosef Cohen and 20-year-old Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef, both of whom were promoted following their tragic deaths.
A third Israeli soldier was also critically wounded in the shooting by the Hamas gunman, who was last seen fleeing for the city of Ramallah.
Just a short time later, a 60-year-old Palestinian man named Hamdan Tawfiq was shot dead by Israeli security forces after he attempted to ram soldiers at a checkpoint in the town of al-Birah, northwest of Ramallah.
Also on Thursday, Israeli security forces located and killed two other Palestinian men suspected of attacking Israeli citizens in two earlier incidents: a Sunday drive-by shooting and a workplace murder that occurred more than two months ago.
Some seven Israeli citizens were wounded by the gunfire in Sunday’s shooting. One of those victims was a 21-year-old pregnant woman, whose baby eventually died after the emergency surgeries on the mother forced a premature birth.
The other suspected attacker who met his fate on Thursday was accused of having murdered two Israeli coworkers about nine weeks ago. He remains at large.
In all, two Israeli soldiers and three Palestinians were killed on Thursday. Hamas has claimed responsibility for at least two of the four Palestinians involved in Thursday’s separate incidents, though it remains unclear exactly which Palestinians the terror group has claimed as their own.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had angered some in his own government by recently going out on a limb to negotiate a shaky cease-fire agreement with Hamas, expressed a cold resolve to defend his nation and citizens against those who would destroy them.
“Our guiding principle is that whoever attacks us and whoever tries to attack us will pay with his life,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Our enemies know this and we will find them.”
When Obama was president, he gave short-shrift to the Israelis and offered incredible financial and political support to the Palestinians, emboldening them in their genocidal plans against Israel.
It has been left to President Donald Trump to attempt to cool the inflamed situation and forestall the outbreak of widespread violence via terrorist attacks and reprisals, as the tinderbox that is the Middle East continues to smolder from all of the kindling set alight between 2009 and 2017.