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Israel bans 83,000 Palestinian entry permits after deadly Tel Aviv attack

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Israeli border police stand guard April 15, 2012, at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been banned from travel using the airport after two Palestinian men opened fire at a Tel Aviv cafe, killing four people. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
Israeli border police stand guard April 15, 2012, at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been banned from travel using the airport after two Palestinian men opened fire at a Tel Aviv cafe, killing four people. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

JERUSALEM, June 9 (UPI) -- Israel is suspending 83,000 Palestinian entry permits after Wednesday's Tel Aviv attack in which two Palestinian gunmen killed four people.

The permit ban will affect Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. They will be prevented from visiting relatives in Israel, from attending Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem and from traveling via Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport.

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Israeli officials said the gunmen are cousins from the Palestinian village of Yatta in the occupied West Bank. Both were arrested, with at least one reportedly injured in gunfire. The Palestinian Authority has yet to comment on the attack.

Palestinians with work authorizations will not be affected by the permit ban. All Palestinians are banned from entering and leaving Yatta with exception for humanitarian and medical purposes.

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Hamas -- a militant Islamist group deemed a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the European Union and others -- praised what it called a "heroic attack" but did not claim responsibility -- adding that "Zionists" would have more "surprises" during the recently started Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

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Investigators said the gunmen were posing as patrons in the popular Tel Aviv cafe. The shootings occurred in and around the Sarona district, an entertainment and shopping complex in central Tel Aviv.

The victims are identified as Ilana Nave, 39, Mila Mishayev, 32, Ido Ben Aryeh, 42, and Michael Feige, 58. Sixteen people were injured.

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Israeli security forces launched operations in Yatta following the attack. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack a "savage crime of murder and terrorism." Additional security forces have been deployed, mostly around the city's bus and train stations as to defend against follow-up attacks potentially inspired by the Tel Aviv shooting.

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