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Israel: Three people killed in attack in ultra-Orthodox town

Massive manhunt underway to find two suspects that attacked Israelis as country marked its independence day
Israeli forces arrive at the scene of an attack in the central city of Elad on 5 May 2022 (AFP)

At least three people were killed in an attack in an ultra-Orthodox town in central Israel on Thursday, as the country marked its independence day.

A massive manhunt is currently underway to apprehend two suspects aged 19 and 20.

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency response service said the attack left seven casualties - including three dead, two in critical condition, one in moderate condition, and one in mild condition.

According to Israeli media, one of the attackers used a firearm and another attacker had an axe or a large knife. Middle East Eye could not independently verify the reports.

Videos posted on social media showed ambulances rushing to the scene of the attack, along with medical staff attending to the wounded.

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The attack in Elad, an ultra-Orthodox town some 30km east of Tel Aviv, comes amid a series of deadly attacks in recent weeks.

A total of 14 Israelis have been killed in four separate shooting and stabbing attacks since March. All five assailants, Palestinians from the West Bank and Israel, were subsequently killed.

At least 50 Palestinians have been killed so far this year by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

Thursday's attack took place just days before the first anniversary of Israel's large-scale military offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Violence spiked last May when Israel tried to expel Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, to make way for Israeli settlers.

This prompted widespread protests across the occupied West Bank and the Palestinian community inside Israel and led to Israel's 11-day bombing campaign on Gaza.

Israel's military operation killed 256 Palestinians, including 66 children, according to the UN. In Israel, 13 people were killed by rockets launched from Gaza.

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