Ter­ror in Is­rael tak­ing its toll

Cen­tre-left leader sus­pends two-state aim Knes­set boost for rad­i­cal right Set­tle­ment freeze ends

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY JC REPORTER

THE ON­GO­ING wave of Pales­tinian ter­ror­ism is forc­ing Is­raeli pol­i­tics to the right.

On Mon­day, 24-year-old Shlomit Krig­man was stabbed to death, and last week, Dafna Meir, a 39-year-old nurse, suf­fered an iden­ti­cal fate in Oth­niel, south of He­bron.

On the same day, un­der pres­sure from the pro-set­tler Jewish Home party, the govern­ment au­tho­rised the con­struc­tion of 153 new homes in the set­tle­ments of Alon Shvut, Etz Efraim, Carmel and Rache­lim, mark­ing the end of an un­of­fi­cial year-long build­ing freeze.

Days ear­lier, Isaac Her­zog, the leader of the cen­tre-left op­po­si­tion party Zion­ist Union, had said that he did not be­lieve that the two-state so­lu­tion was cur­rently vi­able. The state­ment sparked an avalanche of crit­i­cism from the Is­raeli left.

On Sun­day, pres­sure from rightlean­ing mem­bers of Likud and Jewish Home MKs com­pelled Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu to strip evic­tion pow­ers from Moshe Yaalon af­ter the De­fence Min­is­ter re­fused to au­tho­rise the oc­cu­pa­tion of build­ings in He­bron by Jewish fam­i­lies.

Al­though the IDF be­lieves that the level of Pales­tinian vi­o­lence is down over­all, the West Bank has been the scene of par­tic­u­larly shock­ing at­tacks in the past two weeks.

In the most re­cent at­tack in Beit Horon, a com­mu­nity on the Jerusalem-Modiin road, two at­tack­ers from a neigh­bour­ing Pales­tinian vil­lage climbed over the set­tle­ment fence, and be­gan stab­bing passers-by.

Ms Krig­man, a stu­dent, was crit­i­cally wounded and died later in a Jerusalem hos­pi­tal.

She was the 13th Is­raeli killed in the lat­est wave of vi­o­lence which be­gan four months ago. An­other woman was wounded.

The at­tack­ers made their way into the lo­cal gro­cery but were forced out by the man­ager who rammed them with a su­per­mar­ket cart.

They were shot dead by a se­cu­rity guard out­side.

Three sim­i­lar at­tacks took place last week.

On Sun­day, Ms Meir was stabbed to death at the en­trance to her home in Oth­niel.

The next day, a Pales­tinian en­tered Tekoa, a set­tle­ment south-east of Jerusalem, and stabbed a woman in a tex­tiles ware­house.

Michal Fro­man, daugher-in-law of the late Rabbi Me­nachem Fro­man, a set­tler leader who worked on Jewish-Mus­lim co­ex­is­tence projects, was wounded.

On Satur­day, a 13-year-old Pales­tinian girl tried to stab the guard at the en­trance to Ana­tot, east of Jerusalem, and was shot dead.

Se­cu­rity ex­perts be­lieve that the mur­der in Oth­niel in­spired the sub­se­quent “copy­cat” at­tacks.

In a briefing to Is­raeli me­dia, how­ever, the IDF High Com­mand said that there is a de­sire, both within the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity and among or­di­nary Pales­tinian cit­i­zens, to pre­vent fur­ther es­ca­la­tion, which could lead to a down­turn in the lo­cal econ­omy.

Top: Shlomit Krig­man, mur­dered on Mon­day.

Above: Dafna Meir, stabbed to death last week. Main pic­ture: medics at­tend­ing to one of the vic­tims of the Beit Horon at­tack

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