Israeli-Palestinian violence intensifies; Arabs and Jews stabbed

A Palestinian man is killed during an attack on an Israeli policeman, while a Jewish man stabs and wounds four Arabs in southern Israel in a renewed surge of violence.

ISRAELI SETTLEMENT OF KIRYAT ARBA, WEST BANK (OCTOBER 9, 2015) (REUTERS) – A Palestinian man was killed after he stabbed an Israeli police officer in the arm and tried to take his weapon on Friday (October 9).

The incident occurred in a Jewish settlement near the Palestinian city of Hebron in the West Bank.

The Palestinian was shot and the Israeli officer was lightly injured in his upper body.

“There was a second terrorist attack which in the Kiryat Arba area near the Hebron region where policeman after he was stabbed lightly shot a Palestinian terrorist. Heightened security continuing in and around all of the country in the different areas including major cities Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and in the south,” said Israeli police spokesperson, Mickey Rosenfeld.

After the incident, armed Israeli settlers gathered at the location and started throwing stones towards Palestinian houses nearby.

Earlier in the day, four Arabs were stabbed in a town in southern Israel and a Jewish suspect was arrested, police said.

The attacks follow a surge in knife violence by Palestinians against Israelis.

The stabbings took place in the town of Dimona and were all believed to have been carried out by the same suspect, police said.

The first man stabbed was a municipal worker who was moderately wounded by the assailant.

Another Arab was stabbed near a school, police said.

The mayor of Dimona said the assailant was a resident of the city who was known to police. During questioning, police said the attacker described all Arabs as “terrorists”.

Details of the other two stabbings and the condition of the victims were not immediately clear.

Palestinian anger is largely focused on events at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City and fears that Israel is trying to change the status quo at the holy site.

The site is revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.

Israel has deployed thousands more police and soldiers in and around Jerusalem’s Old City. Muslim access to al-Aqsa has been restricted to men over 45 and women.

Israeli authorities have vowed to crack down on the Palestinian attacks while warning citizens against carrying out reprisals against Arabs.

On Thursday, Jerusalem’s mayor and mayors in other cities urged residents who have gun licenses to carry their weapons with them, a call that prompted some politicians to warn against vigilantism.

Recent days have seen the worst spell of civil unrest in the region for several years. In the past 10 days, four Israelis have been shot or stabbed to death in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, and at least a dozen have been wounded by Palestinians wielding knives or screwdrivers in stabbings in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.