Four Israeli Jews and dozens of Palestinians have now been killed in the latest wave of violence across Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, with security services struggling to cope with the random nature of attacks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered that 1,300 reserve border police officers be deployed in Jerusalem, after a weekend in which ten Palestinians were killed, as terror attacks continued around the country.
In Jerusalem, an Israeli policeman was stabbed and lightly injured near the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Old City, with the attacker shot and killed. Another officer, Moshe Chen, was wounded on Sunday after a car being driven by a Palestinian woman was pulled over at a checkpoint near the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Unconfirmed reports suggest she may have sought to set fire to a gas canister, and was being treated for burns.
Near Hadera, in northern Israel, a 20-year old Palestinian man stabbed and injured four people on Sunday night. The victims were a 19-year-old who was critically wounded, and three others aged 14, 20 and 45 years with light wounds.
In Gaza, meanwhile, a pregnant woman and her two-year old daughter were killed when an airstrike destroyed a house. Israeli jets were responding to an earlier rocket launch. A man and five-year old boy were also wounded.
Clashes along the Gaza border have now left nine Palestinians dead since the start of October. Islamist rulers Hamas have ordered a series of solidarity rallies to show support to Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot dead another 13-year-old boy, Ahmad Sharaka, who is now the third 13-year old to be killed. He was shot in the neck with a live round, medics said, after throwing stones around al-Bireh near Ramallah.
The current wave of violence shows no signs of ending, and both sides are now filming themselves inciting violence. One video, uploaded to YouTube, instructs Palestinians on how best to stab Israeli Jews, while in another, an Israeli settler places raw pork on the face of a Palestinian lying on a stretcher, after being shot for stabbing a policeman in Hebron.
“We know they really love pork,” says the settler, as he filmed himself placing the meat. “He should enjoy his virgins with it.”. The Palestinian man was later pronounced dead at hospital.
Yisrael Bramson, deputy mayor of Kiryat Arba, supported the “tactic,” saying: “It’s the most simple and reasonable action. We should have used these tools a long time ago… The Jewish people are being attacked now. We need every worthy and reasonable and logical [method] to frighten the enemy.”
Most analysts agree that the latest wave of violence stems from armed Israeli officers forcing entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque in recent weeks. The mosque is housed in a complex held sacred by both Muslims and Jews across the world.