Play­ing with fire

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

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

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