Reuven_Rivlin_as_the_president_of_Israel

Reuven Rivlin

The brother of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin has been arrested for incitement after appearing to threaten the life of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Hagai Amir, who served 16 years in prison for helping his brother Yigal kill then-prime minister Rabin 20 years ago, took to Facebook this week to say that the day Rivlin departs “is not far away”.

Yigal, who is serving a life sentence, is held up as a hero by sections of Israeli society, and his name was chanted by fans of football team Beitar Jerusalem during Monday’s match against Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium.

By Wednesday morning, 59 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces in October, with hundreds injured, while the Israeli death-toll reached 11 following the death of 76-year old American-Israeli grandfather Richard Lakin, who succumbed to injuries sustained in an attack two weeks earlier, in which he was shot and stabbed on a bus in the East Talpiot neighbourhood.

This week saw more attacks against Israelis by Palestinians, three of whom were shot and killed on Tuesday at Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank, where two Palestinians aged 17 and 22 stabbed an Israeli soldier, and in Hebron, where another soldier was stabbed. 

Earlier that day, two Palestinian teenagers were arrested in Jerusalem’s Old City and two women were detained near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. All were found to be carrying knives. 

Riots and protests have turned increasingly violent in recent days, as Palestinian anger builds over Israel’s refusal to hand over the bodies of assailants for burial. 

U.K Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond has called for “steps to de-escalate tensions,” but Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely this week said she would like to see an Israeli flag flying over the site of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

While it is Islam’s third holiest site, it is also held holy by Jews, who consider the Temple Mount compound to be the site of two Jewish temples in antiquity. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu meanwhile said that Israel would “continue to enforce its longstanding policy: Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit Temple Mount,” adding: “Israel has no intention to divide Temple Mount, and we completely reject any attempt to suggest otherwise”.