Pales­tinian shot af­ter stab­bing Is­raeli in Jerusalem

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY IAN DEITCH

A Pales­tinian woman stabbed an Is­raeli man who then shot and wounded her in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wed­nes­day af­ter Is­rael lifted some of the tight se­cu­rity mea­sures im­posed fol­low­ing a se­ries of deadly Pales­tinian at­tacks, po­lice said.

Shortly af­ter, the po­lice said its forces shot dead a sus­pect in south­ern Is­rael who stabbed a soldier and stole his weapon, the latest in a se­ries of vi­o­lent in­ci­dents in re­cent days that have seen sev­eral Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans killed and sent ten­sions soar­ing.

Po­lice spokes­woman Luba Samri said an 18-year-old woman in Jerusalem stabbed an Is­raeli man from be­hind in his up­per body, lightly wound­ing him. The man drew his gun and fired, wound­ing her se­ri­ously, Samri said. Both have been taken to a hos­pi­tal.

Is­rael’s Chan­nel 2 TV said the at­tack took place near the site where a Pales­tinian stabbed an Is­raeli man to death and wounded his wife and tod­dler on Satur­day. That as­sailant then at­tacked and killed another Is­raeli man be­fore he was shot dead by po­lice.

Samri said an un­prece­dented mea­sure im­posed on Sun­day bar­ring nonres­i­dent Pales­tini­ans from Jerusalem’s Old City was lifted “fol­low­ing se­cu­rity assess­ments” on Tues­day evening. The ban did not ap­ply to Pales­tini­ans who live, work and study within the Old City, or Is­raelis or tourists.

The move was im­posed af­ter a se­ries of Pales­tinian at­tacks. Is­rael beefed up its forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank since the cur­rent un­rest be­gan about three weeks ago, and Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu is un­der in­tense do­mes­tic pres­sure to do more.

Four Is­raelis were killed last week in shoot­ing and stab­bing at­tacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, while Is­raeli forces have killed four Pales­tini­ans, in­clud­ing a 13-year-old boy, amid vi­o­lent protests.

Hun­dreds of Pales­tini­ans have been hurt in sev­eral days of clashes, ac­cord­ing to the Red Cres­cent med­i­cal ser­vice, in­clud­ing dozens struck by rub­ber bul­lets and some by live fire. Most of the wounded have been treated for tear gas in­hala­tion.

Another mea­sure ban­ning men un­der the age of 50 from en­ter­ing the Al-Aqsa mosque com­pound for prayers was also lifted. Is­rael has im­posed the ban at times of un­rest in the past as it is mostly young Pales­tinian men who take part in the vi­o­lence.

That site has been at the heart of the re­cent ten­sions. The hill­top com­pound is revered by Mus­lims as the spot where the Prophet Muham­mad as­cended to heaven and by Jews as the site of the two Jewish bib­li­cal Tem­ples.

Many Pales­tini­ans be­lieve that Is­rael is try­ing to ex­pand a Jewish pres­ence at the site. Is­rael has adamantly de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, de­scrib­ing them as slan­der aimed at in­cit­ing Arabs to vi­o­lence.

There have been sev­eral days of clashes at the site over the past few weeks as Pales­tini­ans bar­ri­caded them­selves in­side the AlAqsa mosque while hurl­ing stones, fire­bombs and fire­works at po­lice.

The un­rest later spread to Arab neigh­bor­hoods of east Jerusalem and to the West Bank, and on Tues­day there were dis­tur­bances in Jaffa, a largely Arab area of Tel Aviv.

On Wed­nes­day, the vi­o­lence ap­peared to spread south. Po­lice spokesman Micky Rosen­feld said a sus­pect got off a bus in the city of Kiryat Gat and then stabbed a soldier while tak­ing his weapon. The sus­pect then fled into a residential build­ing, where po­lice forces tracked him down and shot him dead. Rosen­feld said the sus­pect’s iden­tity was not yet clear but that po­lice were treat­ing the in­ci­dent as a ter­ror­ist at­tack.

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu has warned he will use a “strong hand” to quell the vi­o­lence.

Ne­tanyahu is un­der heavy pres­sure, par­tic­u­larly from hard-lin­ers in his gov­ern­ing coali­tion, to re­spond with a tough crack­down.

Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas, fed up with years of diplo­matic paral­y­sis and un­pop­u­lar with his public, does not want to ap­pear to be cav­ing in to Is­raeli pres­sure. But on Tues­day he called for calm and said his peo­ple had no in­ter­est in fur­ther “es­ca­la­tion.”

(Left) A Pales­tinian girl sits at the en­trance of her fam­ily’s house at Aida Refugee camp ahead of the fu­neral pro­ces­sion of 13-year-old Pales­tinian, Ab­del Rah­man Shadi, who died af­ter be­ing hit by a bullet to the chest af­ter throw­ing stones at Is­raeli army sol­diers, in the West Bank city of Beth­le­hem, Tues­day, Oct. 6. (Right) Pales­tinian stone throw­ers clash with Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces (un­seen) near an Is­raeli check­point in the West Bank town of He­bron on Tues­day.

AP/AFP

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