Is­rael’s death toll rises as vi­o­lence pro­lif­er­ates

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY NATHAN JEF­FAY

The Is­rael death toll in the cur­rent wave of vi­o­lence rose to nine this week, af­ter at­tacks in Beer­sheva and the West Bank had fa­tal con­se­quences.

Seven Is­raelis were killed in the first fort­night of the vi­o­lence and, on Sun­day, a 19-year-old soldier, Omri Levy, be­came the eighth vic­tim. He had gone to the main bus sta­tion in Beer­sheva on his way to an army base, when Mo­hammed al-Okbi, an Arab cit­i­zen of Is­rael from a nearby vil­lage, en­tered the sta­tion with a gun and a knife.

Al-Okbi went on a ram­page, killing Sergeant Levy and wound­ing ten oth­ers, be­fore he was fa­tally shot.

AswellasLevy,asec­ondin­no­cent­man died dur­ing the at­tack — Eritrean asy­lum seeker Hev­tum Zer­hom, 29, who was mis­taken for a ter­ror­ist, shot by a se­cu­rity guard, and, when al­ready ly­ing on the ground, was lynched by an­gry Is­raelis. He later died in hospi­tal, and his death was met with dis­may across the Is­raeli po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, and prompted Prime Min­is­ter Benjamin Ne­tanyahu to warn against vig­i­lan­tism.

The sec­ond Is­raeli fa­tal­ity this week, the ninth of the cur­rent vi­o­lence, was Avra­hamHasano,aJewish­man­fromKir- yatArba,who­found­him­self inthemidst of a riot near He­bron, where Pales­tini­ans had blocked a high­way with burn­ing tyres. They stoned his car and, when he got out, a lorry driver drove in to him. Mr Hasano was a 54-year-old kitchen man­ager, who taught To­rah classes on a vol­un­tary ba­sis in his spare time.

The He­bron re­gion, where Hasano was killed, has be­come a fo­cal point of vi­o­lence in re­cent days. A few hours be­fore he was at­tacked, a Pales­tinian man stabbed an Is­raeli soldier nearby, re­sult­ing in light in­juries to the soldier.

On Fri­day, a ter­ror­ist pos­ing as a jour­nal­ist, stabbed, and also lightly in­jured, a soldier. On Satur­day, there were three stab­bing at­tacks in He­bron, leav­ing a po­lice­man and a soldier wounded. On Tues­day evening, a soldier was wounded in a knife at­tack in He­bron.

Other parts of the West Bank have also wit­nessed at­tacks. An Is­raeli soldier was in­jured on Tues­day near Beth­le­hem by a molo­tov cock­tail, and in the Gush Etzion re­gion, a Pales­tinian in­jured two Is­raelis in a ram­ming and stab­bing at­tack.

A ram­ming at­tack on Wed­nes­day morn­ing be­tween Jerusalem and Nablus left a po­lice­man slightly in­jured.

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