‘Knife terror will not defeat us,’ Netanyahu says of Jerusalem stabbings
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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told lawmakers that “knife terror will not defeat us” as a wave of stabbing attacks targeting Jews in Jerusalem has raised fears of a full-blown Palestinian uprising.
Netanyahu’s parliament address comes on the same day as four new stabbings were reported in the city. So far, two Israelis have died and around 20 have been wounded in the attacks which began on October 3 when a Palestinian killed two Israelis in Jerusalem’s Old City, prompting a security crackdown.
In his speech, Netanyahu sought to calm the increasing fears of a full-scale Palestinian uprising, or a third intifada, saying Israel has overcome such threats in the past. He also called on Israel’s Arab citizens to "kick out the extremists among you."
In Monday's first stabbing, an 18-year-old Palestinian identified as Mustafa al-Khatib attacked a policeman with a knife at an entrance to Jerusalem's Old City and was shot dead by security forces.The police officer's protective vest stopped the knife and he was unharmed. The attacker, from east Jerusalem, was shot dead by other officers.
Later in the day, a female attacker stabbed an Israeli policeman near the force's headquarters in Jerusalem and was shot and wounded by the victim, police said.
In the third attack, two "terrorists" stabbed two Israelis in the east Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Zeev, with one attacker -- reported to be 16 years old -- killed and the other shot and seriously wounded. The victims were both Jews, with a 16-year-old gravely wounded and a 20-year-old seriously wounded, police said.
In the latest attack, police said an Arab had stabbed an Israeli soldier on a bus and tried to seize his gun before the suspect was shot and killed by an officer. The soldier’s condition was not immediately known.
Unrest spreading to West Bank and Gaza Strip
FRANCE 24 journalist Sami Sockol in Jerusalem said the stabbings were a result of “a lot of anger spilling out from the Arab community in Israel” who represent around one-fifth of the population.
Israel's Arab minority has full citizenship rights, but often suffers discrimination.
“There have been ongoing demonstrations and what we are expected to see are more demonstrations in the coming days," Sockol said.
“Tomorrow there will be a general strike in Israel, there will be a huge demonstration in the north of the country."
One revenge stabbing has occurred, with a 17-year-old Jew in the southern Israeli city of Dimona wounding two Palestinians and two Arab Israelis on Friday.
Rioting has also erupted in annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
The unrest has also spread to the Gaza Strip, hit by three wars with Israel since 2008.
On Sunday, an Israeli air strike in retaliation for two rockets fired at Israel demolished a house in northern Gaza, killing a woman and her two-year-old daughter.
Israel said the air strike targeted an arms workshop of Islamist movement Hamas.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)
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