Three Palestinians and one Israeli killed as surge of violence continues

Video footage records Israeli policeman shoot 16-year-old Palestinian girl

An Israeli soldier stands near the bodies of a   Palestinian and Isreali killed    at a West Bank petrol station: Eighty-six Palestinians,   20 Israelis and an American student have been killed in the spate of violence since October 1st. Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA

An Israeli soldier stands near the bodies of a Palestinian and Isreali killed at a West Bank petrol station: Eighty-six Palestinians, 20 Israelis and an American student have been killed in the spate of violence since October 1st. Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA

 

A Palestinian stabbed and killed an Israeli at a petrol station in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Monday. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem two Palestinian girls attacked and slightly wounded an elderly man with scissors before a policeman shot them both, killing one.

In a day of rapidly unfolding violence, the latest in an eight-week surge of stabbings, shootings and car rammings, a Palestinian was also shot dead near the West Bank city of Nablus after approaching soldiers with a knife, the military said.

The Palestinian health ministry said the Palestinian who was shot was 16. It said an 18-year-old Palestinian woman was critically wounded in the incident, but had no further details.

The attack in Jerusalem occurred on Jaffa Road, a busy street near the city centre’s market. Two Palestinian girls, one aged 14 and the other 16, used scissors to stab and slightly wound a 70-year-old man, who turned out to be Palestinian, not Israeli.

Video on a popular Israeli news website seemed certain to raise questions over whether a passing policeman used excessive force to subdue the teenagers after the attack. Closed-circuit television footage on YNet of the stabbing showed the two young Palestinian women, their right arms raised and making stabbing gestures, advancing on the sidewalk toward a man who then appeared to draw a handgun.

Another man, identified by police as a bomb disposal officer, ran towards the scene from a police van, his weapon drawn. He fired at the 14-year-old girl, who fell to the ground just as another man hit her with a chair.

The officer then discharged his gun several times at the older girl, who fell against a wall. He ran back towards the first girl, who was lying motionless on the ground, and fired at her again. A ricochet from one of the bullets he fired injured a passerby – an Israeli man, hospital officials said.

Gunfire

The incidents occurred a day before US secretary of state John Kerry was due to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories to discuss ways to try to stem the violence.

Eighty-six Palestinians have been killed in the spate of violence since October 1st, some while carrying out attacks and others in clashes with Israeli forces. Twenty Israelis and an American student have been killed by Palestinians, either in stabbings, shootings or purposefully run down by vehicles.

It is the worst violence to strike the region since the Gaza war last year, fuelling talk of a new Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, against Israel’s occupation. The first intifada lasted from 1987-1993 and the second from 2000-2005, although both were far more intense and deadly than the current violence.

‘Excessive use of force’

State Department

The bloodshed has been driven in part by Muslim agitation over stepped-up Jewish visits to East Jerusalem’s al Aqsa mosque compound – Islam’s third holiest site which is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical temples – as well as by long-deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

On Sunday, an Israeli woman was stabbed to death and three Palestinian attackers were killed in a series of incidents in the West Bank.

The Palestinian government has said Israel is carrying out unlawful killings of Palestinians and “accusing every victim of holding a knife” or planting one at the side of alleged attackers. Israel has said it is within its rights to respond with lethal force to potentially deadly attacks.

– (Reuters)