Violence continued Saturday in Jerusalem when an attacker shot and wounded two Israelis near an East Jerusalem settlement, the morning after a Palestinian attacker killing seven people outside a synagogue elsewhere in the city.
Both victims on Saturday were taken to hospital and described by doctors as being in serious but not critical condition. And the attacker – a 13-year-old boy – was shot and wounded by two passers-by, according to a police statement.
The attack underscores the fragility of the situation in Israel and the occupied territories, which have killed at least 20 Israelis and Palestinians in less than a week and left many on both sides of the conflict. fear of the possibility of a larger fire.
The combination of several overlapping dynamics – a new hardline government of Israel promised to take a stronger stance against the Palestinians; increased anger and aggression from a new generation of Palestinians; an escalating Israeli military campaign in areas of Palestine; and the Palestinian leadership’s decision this week to cut off security coordination with its Israeli counterparts – risking accelerating a cycle of violence and undermining efforts to de-escalate tensions.
Saturday morning’s attack occurred in a predominantly Palestinian district of East Jerusalem, a few hundred yards south of some of the holiest sites in the Old City.
The area was occupied by Israel from Jordan in 1967 and later annexed, and is still considered by most of the world as occupied territory. Tensions have increased in the vicinity in recent decades after Israeli settlers began moving there in larger numbers and seek to deport Palestinian residents.
Elsewhere in East Jerusalem on Saturday, police said they had arrested 42 people in connection with the Palestinian attacker in Friday night’s attack outside a synagogue in a settlement. of Israel.
Police also said they had increased their presence on the streets of Jerusalem following last week’s attacks, while the Israeli Defense Ministry said it was stepping up efforts to protect Israeli settlements and roads in Israel. West Bank.
Israel’s prison agency said it had placed dozens of Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement after they celebrated the attack outside the synagogue.
The situation in Israel and the occupied territories was already tense before the current government took office at the end of December during the most dangerous year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005.
But tensions escalated further throughout January, with more than 30 Palestinians killed this month, mostly during Israeli operations to arrest Palestinian militants.
Nine Palestinians have killed in a raid on ThursdayThe deadliest such incident in at least half a decade prompted the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to announce it was suspending coordination with Israeli security agencies in protest.
If fully enacted, the move would block most communications between Israeli and Palestinian military and intelligence agencies, making it easier for both Palestinian armed groups and settlers to Violent Israel acts without hindrance.
Carol Sutherland contributed reporting from Moshav Ben Ami, Israel.