TEL AVIV (Christian Examiner) – Israeli Police are on heightened alert after four separate incidents of Jews being stabbed in terror attacks Thursday in Jerusalem, Kiryat Arba, Afula and Tel Aviv.
The Jerusalem Post reported that one Palestinian assailant was killed by police immediately following one of the incidents. Two other suspects were arrested and third is still at large, the newspaper said.
The stabbings are not the only examples of the unrest occurring. In other incidents, Palestinians have piled up cement blocks and debris to make flaming roadblocks and thrown rocks and bottles at police and military personnel near Jewish settlements in the West Bank. They have also targeted Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount.
NBC News, based on reports from Red Crescent, said Israeli security forces killed four militants – including a13-year-old boy – who were throwing stones at settlers in the West Bank. The Israeli military also capitalized on the chaos by bulldozing the homes of two Palestinians arrested on terrorism charges last year.
What is beginning may be the early stages of a third Palestinian Intifada, or a quest for throwing off what Palestinians call the "Zionist occupation" of their homeland. The Jews, of course, reject Palestinian claims to the land citing their biblical mandate for the land and previous world agreements such as the British Mandate and the UN recognition of Israel as a state for the Jews following the Holocaust of World War II.
Violence seems to occur on occasions when the United Nations makes a key concession to the Palestinians, or when the Palestinians indicate their unwillingness to abide by past peace agreements. For instance, on Sept. 30 the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN's 70th General Assembly with Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon standing by. Until last year, the UN refused to recognize "Palestine" as a member state.
Also, during his speech to the assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli's had "continually violated" the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995. Palestinians then, he said, were no longer bound by them.
"As long as Israel refuses to cease settlement activities and to release of the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with our agreements, they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements," Abbas said. "We, therefore, declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power."
The Palestine Chronicle, an English language newspaper, hinted a third intifada – insurrection against Israeli "occupation" – may be in the works. Another editorial in the same paper claimed that if the intifada should start, it should not end until the Israeli's were drive into the sea.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement after the wave of violence began that "terrorists that have been incited and who are riven with hate are trying to attack our people – babies, children, men and women, civilians and soldiers. Our hearts – the hearts of the entire nation – are with the families of the victims whose lives were cut short by reprehensible murderers."
"This vicious terrorism did not start today. It has accompanied the Zionist enterprise since its beginning. We have always known how to defeat the rioters and build up our country and so it will be now. The terrorists and the extremists behind them will achieve nothing. We will rebuff them and we will defeat them," Netanyahu said.
"We are in the midst of a wave of terrorism with knives, firebombs, rocks and even live fire. While these acts are mostly unorganized, they are all the result of wild and mendacious incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, several countries in the region and – no less and frequently much more – the Islamic Movement in Israel, which is igniting the ground with lies regarding our policy on the Temple Mount and the purported changes that we want to make to the status quo. This is an absolute lie. We are also taking action against the inciters and the attackers."
Much of the unrest that has occurred in the past months has centered on Jewish access to the Temple Mount, the site of Solomon's Temple – located likely where the Dome of the Rock mosque sits now. Jews may not visit that mosque, but may visit the area outside of the Al Aqsa mosque, also on the Temple Mount.
Recent Jewish visits to the Temple Mount have received significant resistance from Palestinian youth who have thrown rocks at visitors and at those praying at the Wailing Wall, the only remaining portion of the original Temple structure.
As a result, Netanyahu said politicians "Jewish and Arab alike" would not be able to go up to the Temple Mount for a period of time.
"We do not need more matches to set the ground afire. We will take aggressive measures against the Islamic Movement in Israel and against other inciters. Nobody will be immune," Netanyahu said.
"I would like to tell you, citizens of Israel, that we live in the Middle East and that the flames of radical Islam, which are burning the entire region, are also reaching us. But Israel is a very strong country and Israelis are a strong people."