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Palestinian militant groups praise West Bank shooting that killed two Israelis

CCTV footage shows the suspected perpetrator of a shooting at the Barkan industrial zone in the West Bank fleeing the scene.
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Neither group claimed responsibility for the attack, which IDF says appeared to be a 'lone-wolf attack'

Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Sunday hailed a shooting attack in the West Bank that killed two Israelis, calling it a "heroic" operation that came in response to Israeli "crimes" against Palestinians.

Two Israelis were killed and a third was moderately wounded after a Palestinian gunman opened fire on factory workers in the industrial zone of the Barkan settlement in the northern West Bank in what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deemed a "serious terror attack."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack and vowed deal with the "reprehensible murderer" to "the fullest extent of the law."

President Reuven Rivlin called the shooting, which targeted a factory that employs some 3,000 Palestinians and an equal number of Jews, "an attack on the possibility of Israelis and Palestinians co-existing peacefully."

Hamas, the Islamist militant group which rules over the Gaza Strip, called the attack "heroic".

“The Hamas movement and the Palestinian people everywhere praise the heroic operation near the Ariel settlement,” Hamas said in a statement.

“We applaud this heroic operation and affirm that it comes as a natural response to the Israeli occupation’s crimes at the expense of the Palestinian people” in Gaza, Jerusalem and Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in the West Bank controversially slated for demolition.

SAID KHATIB (AFP/File)

Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also praised the attack, deeming it a "martyrdom operation" and affirming that Israeli settlements "are a legitimate target for resistance fighters and revolutionaries."

“We call on our proud people in Jerusalem, the West Bank and elsewhere to rise up in the face of settlement terrorism until the West Bank is liberated from settlements and settlers,” the group said, according to the PIJ-linked Palestine Today.

Neither group claimed responsibility for the attack, and an Israeli army spokesperson said earlier that it appeared it was a "lone-wolf attack".

A wave of so-called "lone wolf" stabbing and shooting attacks against Israelis erupted in 2015 with near daily frequency, but they have since become sporadic.

Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said that the identity of the fugitive 23-year-old Palestinian perpetrator of Sunday's shooting was known to security forces.

The IDF would not release the suspect’s name, but said he was from the northern West Bank village of Shuweika, near Tulkarem.

Israeli security forces had launched a major manhunt for the assailant, and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said it was "only a matter of time" before he would be caught.

Palestinian media reported road closures and checkpoints throughout the northern West Bank as forces searched for the gunman.

CCTV footage from the factory showed the suspect fleeing the upper floor of the factory where the shooting took place and running out of the gated facility armed with what the IDF said was an illegally manufactured "Carlo" style submachine gun.

The Carlo-style submachine rifle, modeled after its namesake -- the 1945 Swedish Carl Gustav submachine gun -- is cheap and easy to manufacture, making it an popular weapon of choice for Palestinians carrying out terror attacks in Israel.

The weapons are easily manufactured with no serial number from widely accessible materials such as water pipes, and pose a significant security threat due to their rapid proliferation on the Palestinian black market.

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SO SAD, CONTINUEOUS TERRORISTIC MURDER OF. HEBREW JEWISH PEOPLE WORLD WIDE. ABOUT TIME THE HEBREW JEWISH PEOPLE WORLDWIDE COMMENCED ELIMINATING ALL THREATS TO GOOD JEWISH LIVELIHOOD. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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