Violent attacks against Israelis continued across the country during the weekend, with several stabbing attacks taking place and an attempted car bomb on Saturday – the first use of explosives in the recent wave of violence.
The weekend’s incidents were the latest in a spate of terror attacks that have rocked the capital and the rest of Israel over the last two weeks.
On Saturday, five Israelis were wounded in two separate stabbing incidents in Jerusalem’s Old City. In the morning, a 16-year-old Palestinian stabbed two men in their 60s and then charged at Border Police who opened fire, killing the assailant.
Hours later, a 19-year-old from Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighbourhood stabbed two police officers before being shot and killed.
On Saturday morning, a 31-year-old Palestinian woman was stopped at a checkpoint approaching Jerusalem, after officers noticed her driving suspiciously. The woman detonated a number of gas canisters as she stopped the car, lightly injuring an officer but more seriously wounding herself. Israeli security forces believe that the attacker was heading for Jerusalem to carry out an attack.
On Sunday evening, four Israelis were injured when an Arab man in his twenties from Umm-el-Fahm carried out a combined vehicle and knife attack. He rammed his car into a group of shoppers outside the Gam Shmuel shopping centre before exiting the car and stabbing others. One victim, a 19-year-old female soldier is reported to be in a serious condition.
Also on Sunday, Israeli security forces clashed with local Palestinians in several locations in the West Bank. During one incident at the Beit El checkpoint, a 13-year-old Palestinian is reported to have been killed after being shot. Rocks were thrown also at Israeli cars in several areas over the weekend, including the 443 motorway which links Modi’in and Jerusalem.
A number of Palestinians have died in the clashes and in Israeli air strikes on Gaza following rocket attacks into southern Israel. On Sunday, a pregnant mother and three-year-old child were killed, as their house crumbled after an IDF air strike that targeted a nearby Hamas weapon-making facilitiy following a rocket attack on Israel.
Officials in the West Bank said a 13-year-old boy was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes near a Jewish settlement.
At an Israeli security cabinet meeting yesterday, new measures were approved to introduce mandatory minimum sentences on those throwing rocks. The cabinet also discussed the possibility of outlawing the extremist northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which several Israeli leaders have said is playing a large role in inciting the current unrest.
The recent violence has killed four Israelis and left at least ten seriously injured. There have also been a number of Palestinian casualties, including four Arabs who were wounded after being attacked by an Israeli teenager in the southern city of Dimona last Friday in what is said to be a ‘retaliatory’ attack.