Pales­tinian shot dead, ra­dio sta­tion closed

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

JERUSALEM: A stab­bing at an en­trance to Jerusalem’s Old City and an­other near a bus stop Sun­day left two peo­ple wounded and an at­tacker killed, while Is­rael closed a third Pales­tinian ra­dio sta­tion it ac­cused of in­cit­ing violence. The at­tacks and clo­sure of the sta­tion came with Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces strug­gling to halt two months of knife, gun and car-ram­ming as­saults. Sev­eral weeks ago, an Is­raeli se­cu­rity crack­down in Jerusalem, in­clud­ing road­blocks in Pales­tinian neigh­bor­hoods, was fol­lowed by a lull in at­tacks in the city, but violence has re­cently re­turned.

Early yes­ter­day, a 38-year-old Pales­tinian stabbed and lightly wounded an Is­raeli border po­lice of­fi­cer at Da­m­as­cus Gate, a main en­trance point for Pales­tini­ans to east Jerusalem’s Old City and the site of sev­eral pre­vi­ous at­tacks. The at­tacker was iden­ti­fied as Bassem Salah from the north­ern West Bank city of Nablus. Later in the morn­ing, a for­eign woman of around 30 was lightly wounded in a stab­bing near a bus sta­tion in west Jerusalem and the at­tacker fled. Po­lice said a Pales­tinian sus­pect was later ar­rested near the scene. Fur­ther de­tails on the vic­tim were not im­me­di­ately pro­vided.

Violence since Oc­to­ber 1 has left 100 dead on the Pales­tinian side, in­clud­ing an Arab Is­raeli, as well as 17 Is­raelis, an Amer­i­can and an Eritrean. Many of the Pales­tini­ans killed have been al­leged at­tack­ers, while oth­ers have been shot dead by Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces dur­ing clashes. A visit last week by US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry failed to pro­duce any break­through, and de­bate has in­ten­si­fied within Is­rael on whether to take con­cil­ia­tory steps to ease ten­sions or to re­spond more force­fully. Pales­tinian lead­ers blame Is­rael for the wave of violence, say­ing its con­tin­ued oc­cu­pa­tion and set­tle­ment build­ing along with a lack of progress in peace ef­forts have led to hope­less­ness among young peo­ple. Many of the at­tack­ers have been young Pales­tini­ans, in­clud­ing teenagers, who ap­pear to have acted on their own.

Ra­dio In­cite­ment?

In the flash­point southern West Bank city of He­bron, the army shut down the Dream ra­dio sta­tion, the third pri­vate broad­caster it has closed there, ac­cus­ing it of stok­ing the violence. An Is­raeli min­is­ter raised the threat last week of shut­ting down Pales­tinian pub­lic broad­cast­ers as well, charg­ing that they were guilty of fan­ning the flames. He­bron, con­sid­ered a West Bank strong­hold of Is­lamist move­ment Hamas, has been the fo­cus of much of the re­cent violence.

Talab Jaabari, owner of the sta­tion closed yes­ter­day, said sol­diers ar­rived and seized “all the ma­te­rial and caused sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the sta­tion”. He said he re­ceived a writ­ten or­der to close for six months, which ac­cused his sta­tion of “broad­cast­ing pro­grams with the aim of pro­mot­ing and en­cour­ag­ing ter­ror­ism against civil­ians and Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces”. The Al-Khalil and Al-Hur­riya ra­dio sta­tions in He­bron were also closed ear­lier this month on sim­i­lar grounds. Two other Pales­tinian ra­dio sta­tions - one in He­bron and one in Jenin said they have re­ceived let­ters threat­en­ing clo­sure. Such clo­sures have been among a raft of se­cu­rity mea­sures taken by Is­rael in bid to halt the at­tacks. Last week, Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu an­nounced tighter con­trols on Pales­tinian ve­hi­cles and an in­crease in the num­ber of so-called “by­pass roads” which cre­ate sep­a­rate routes for Pales­tini­ans and Jewish set­tlers. He said work per­mits would be with­drawn from the fam­i­lies of al­leged at­tack­ers and there would be “no lim­its” on the pow­ers of Is­raeli sol­diers in the West Bank, where some 400,000 Jewish set­tlers live among 2.8 mil­lion Pales­tini­ans. — AFP

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