Terror in Israel taking its toll
Centre-left leader suspends two-state aim Knesset boost for radical right Settlement freeze ends
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