A female Israeli soldier aged 19 was fighting for her life on Wednesday evening after becoming the latest stabbing victim in the wave of violence sweeping across the country.
The teenage soldier was knifed in the upper body near a checkpoint north of Jerusalem, before the attacker was shot and killed.
Earlier on Wednesday, an Israeli policeman was injured in a ramming attack near a West Bank settlement, after a car crashed through another checkpoint near the Palestinian village of Silwad. The driver fled the scene.
On Tuesday, an Israeli man from the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba near Hebron was hit by a truck and killed as he emerged from his vehicle, which had just been damaged by Palestinian rock throwers. Also in the West Bank, a soldier and civilian were injured when a car ploughed into a bus stop in the Gush Etzion settlement.
On Sunday, an innocent Eritrean man was shot and subsequently beaten to death by an Israeli mob in the southern city of Be’ersheva, in the latest worrying instance of vigilante justice.
The man’s attackers, who were still at large by Wednesday evening, thought he was an accomplice to a gunman who had opened fire on a crowd in a bus station, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding nine other people.
Reflecting on the tragedy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said: “It’s terrible. It shows you what a terrible situation we’re in.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “No one should take the law into their own hands.”
In the UK, feeling was mixed. In the House of Commons, Tory MP Peter Bone said: “It does not help that the Palestinian Authority encourages incitement against Israel,” but former Labour minister Sir Gerald Kaufman MP told Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood that the violence stemmed from Israeli policy.
He said: “Are not the deaths of an Eritrean immigrant, murdered in Be’ersheva by Israeli thugs, the deaths of seven Israelis and the deaths of 40 Palestinians the direct consequence of Netanyahu’s refusal to grant freedom to Palestine, the illegal wall, the illegal settlements, the 500 checkpoints and the persistent desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli settlers?”
Ellwood replied: “We recognise there are frustrations due to the lack of progress towards peace and we share those frustrations. The peace process was launched over two decades ago now and yet we have still not achieve that two-stage solution that is envisaged. But there is absolutely no justification for the attacks we’ve seen.”