Playing with fire
EARLIER THIS week, Israeli security officials were gingerly suggesting that the violence sweeping through Israel and the West Bank could be subsiding.
Then, on Wednesday, all hell broke loose.
An Israeli woman was stabbed in the Old City of Jerusalem, an IDF soldier was knifed near Kiryat Gat, a mob attacked a Jewish woman in her car near Jerusalem, an Israeli man was stabbed outside a mall in Petah Tikva and Palestinians attempted to run over border police officers manning a checkpoint near Ma’ale Adumim.
Soon afterwards, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would not travel to his summit with Angela Merkel in Germany in order to stay at home and manage the security situation.
Speculation about a “Third Intifada” has proliferated in recent days. On Sunday, Israel’s mass-selling daily Yediot Ahronoth even used the phrase as its front-page headline.
For now, it seems that the Third Intifada label remains an exaggera- tion. Four Israelis and five Palestinians killed in one week may seem like a sharp escalation in violence. The statistics show, however, that there have been other such spikes over the past two years, and the level of violence is steadily rising over time.
Israeli security officials said that there were
Israeli border officer
around 20 flashpoints in the West Bank and around Jerusalem where confrontations have been taking place over the past few weeks. Most of the locations have long been focuses of violence; the difference today is the frequency of the clashes and the numbers of those involved. That said, the violence mainly consists of teenagers throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.
But even if a Third Intifada has not yet erupted, events are moving Israel and the Palestinians in that direction.
Palestinian frustration with the occupation combined with a diminishing hope that the situation will change any time soon remain ongoing causes of violence on their side.
For the same reasons, the Palestinian security apparatus is losing the motivation to curb rioting.
Despite the efforts of the Israeli police and the Shin Bet, attempts
A FORMAL complaint has been lodged with the BBC over its coverage of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Saturday, according to the Israeli embassy.
Two Israelis were killed and two others injured during the incident. The Palestinian attacker was fatally shot by police.
Yiftah Curiel, a spokesman for the embassy, reported that the complaint is related to a series of “inexcusable” headlines used by the BBC after the attack, the first of which read “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two”.
The next said “Jerusalem attack: Israelis killed in Old City ‘by Palestinian’”.
The BBC then removed the inverted commas around “Palestinian”, and eventually shifted its wording to “Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City”.
Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces in Shuafat on Monday