6 Palestinian teens die amid Mideast unrest
Two Hamas sites in Gaza reportedly hit by Israeli airstrikes after rocket fire.
JERUSALEM — Two Palestinian teenagers were shot to death Saturday in Jerusalem, officials said, after they carried out separate stabbing attacks on an ultra-Orthodox Jew and two Israeli police officers.
Two more Palestinian teens were killed by Israeli forces Saturday along the border of the Gaza Strip as violence spread and appeared to escalate. According to the Israeli military, scores of Palestinians later breached the border fence in a violent demonstration.
Two protesters injured Friday in Gaza and the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat died, for a total of six Palestinian deaths Saturday.
As violence spread to include Gaza, concern about rocket fire prompted Israel to deploy several Iron Dome aerial defense batteries to its southern region. There were no injuries from a rocket fired into Israel early Saturday. That night, multiple sirens sounded in southern Israel as a rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome system, Israeli military officials said.
Early Sunday, Israeli jets struck two Hamas training facilities in the northern Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire from Gaza, Palestinian sources said. Palestinian authorities later said that a pregnant woman and her 3-year-old daughter were killed when their house adjacent to one of the training centers collapsed during the airstrike.
Unrest continued to spread Saturday as thousands of Arab Israeli citizens rallied in various locations, complaining of triggerhappy security policies against Arabs. Some protesters scuffled with police, threw rocks and burned tires. At least 10 people were detained.
As tension between Jewish and Arab Israelis rose, police planned additional security for Jerusalem and other potential trouble spots.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that 13 more companies of border police reservists would be called up for deployment “to restore security and order in Jerusalem and throughout the country.” The extra forces would augment three companies already called up.
The mounting death toll and spread of violence to multiple fronts has drawn international concern, including that of envoys of the so-called Mideast Quartet arriving for separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials next week.
On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry spoke with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Netanyahu made it clear, his office said, that he expects the Palestinian Authority “to stop its wild and mendacious incitement, which is causing the current wave of terrorism.”
Kerry pressed Abbas for continued efforts to calm the situation. WAFA, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, reported that Abbas told Kerry that Israel must “stop allowing provocation by settlers under army protection, which could lead to a situation that cannot be contained.”
In a briefing Friday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. wanted to see the “violence stop, calm returned and real progress made ... toward a two-state solution.”
Twin demonstrations in Israel on Saturday evening reflected the sharp divide among Israelis. In northern Israel, right-wing protesters burned a Palestinian flag. In Jerusalem, members of the opposite camp declared that Netanyahu was responsible for the situation and called on him to resign for failing to resolve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict.
ISRAELI BORDER GUARDS aid an injured police officer, one of two who were stabbed outside the Old City in East Jerusalem, the second such attack in the same area. The attack took place near the Damascus Gate.
RELATIVES GRIEVE at the funeral for Mohammad Jabari, 17, in the West Bank city of Hebron. The teen was killed, police said, after he stabbed an Israeli officer.