Israel’s death toll rises as violence proliferates
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.