Israel’s cabinet approves further security measures after weekend of unrest

Two Israelis were injured over the weekend in a series of stabbing incidents in Jerusalem, its vicinity and the West Bank city of Hebron.

On Saturday morning, a 16-year-old from the Arab area of Jabel Mukabeer in East Jerusalem was spotted acting suspiciously by a resident of the nearby Jewish neighbourhood, Armon Hanatziv. When Border Police approached the 16-year-old to search him, he attempted to stab one of the officers with a large knife. The attacker was shot dead at the scene.

On Saturday evening, a Palestinian attempted to stab a police officer at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem. The officer’s protective vest prevented any injury and the assailant was shot after continuing his attempt to stab police. Meanwhile, on the same day in Hebron, a Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli civilian, who was armed and shot the attacker and a terrorist stabbed and moderately wounded a soldier at a checkpoint in the city. On Friday in Hebron, another soldier was moderately wounded after being stabbed by a Palestinian posing as a photojournalist.

Meanwhile, riots and clashes between Palestinians and IDF forces continued in the West Bank. A confrontation took place between around 200 Palestinians and Israeli soldiers at the Ayosh Junction, while officers used riot control equipment to quell around 300 Palestinians near Hebron.

Yesterday, Israel’s cabinet approved increased stop and search powers for security forces. The proposal, which will need Knesset approval, would permit searching those not suspected of having committed a crime. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, police have begun to erect a temporary barrier across a road separating Jabel Mukabeer from Armon Hanatziv, whose residents have been targeted in a number of recent firebomb and rock throwing attacks. It is also reported that four Israeli municipalities have banned maintenance staff from working at local schools while students are present. Given that such staff are mainly Arab, it is an apparent attempt to reduce the chances of a school attack.

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