Violence Flares in Jerusalem and West Bank With 4 Attacks on Israelis


A wave of violence that had subsided in recent months flared up again on Friday as four attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank within 24 hours underscored the edgy mood between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Israeli authorities said four Arabs who had tried to attack security officers and civilians with knives and a car were shot and killed in separate assaults, shattering the late-summer calm. A Palestinian woman who was in the car used to ram Israelis was shot and in critical condition, while two Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians were treated for light wounds.

The outbreak of hostility renewed fears of a potentially wider conflict, but there was no public indication that the attacks had been planned together or that they necessarily signaled a sustained escalation. In general, the series of attacks that started nearly a year ago have appeared to be individually motivated rather than the work of a coordinated campaign.

The first assault took place at the iconic Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City in Jerusalem. Around 1 p.m., according to the authorities, a knife-wielding man rushed border police officers, calling out, “Allahu akbar!” Arabic for “God is great!” The police shot him to death and later reported discovering another knife on his body.

The man was identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as Saed Amro, 28, a resident of Jordan, according to the Arabic news media. Israeli officials said he had crossed into Israel over the Allenby Bridge the day before.

To the south, Israeli troops near the entrance of Kiryat Arba, an Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron in the West Bank, shot at a car that had tried to run down Israelis, the authorities said. Three were reported hurt.

The gunfire killed the driver, a Palestinian identified as Fares Musa Khdoor, 18, from a nearby village, Bani Naim. His fiancée, identified as Raghd Abdullah Khdoor, 18, was wounded. Israeli news media reported that she was the sister of a woman who rammed her car into a bus stop near Kiryat Arba and was killed less than three months ago.

Israeli forces later imposed a blockade on Bani Naim in response to the attack.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Peter Baker