|Aftermath of this morning's firebomb attack on vehicle being|
driven by human beings near Israeli community of Tekoa [Image Source]
- Start with today's attack by a man who brandished a knife with which he tried to stab Border Police at a security checkpoint near Jerusalem. He ignored calls from the officers who then opened fire and killed him. The Jerusalem Post quotes Palestinian officials saying he is a 23-year-old from Hebron.
- Earlier this morning (Friday), a moving car with people inside it (the customary configuration) came under terrorist fire on a highway that passes the Israeli community of Tekoa, just a short distance south of Jerusalem. An Israeli couple were driving the vehicle when it was hit by a fire bomb (aka Molotov Cocktail) and exploded. The driver, Tzachi Khouri, is interviewed by Ynet: "There was a giant explosion, we didn't understand what was going on. It took me a second to realize that my wife was on fire. The car started to burn. I opened the door, pulled her to me. I tried calling rescue services, there was no reception. It took me a long time until I could reach someone." Israel National News says the wife suffered moderate burns; the husband is also injured, though relatively lightly. Magen David Adom medics treated them on the scene and then transferred them to the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. Their car (in the photos above and below) is entirely destroyed. "Burnt to a crisp" is what Times of Israel's reporter says. Soldiers are sweeping the area at this hour, trying to locate and apprehend those who set out to kill them some Israelis.
- Late night (Thursday) at a security checkpoint in Abu Dis, in the eastern suburbs of Jerusalem, a local Arab tried to stab a Border Police serviceman, according to Times of Israel quoting Army Radio.
- Also Thursday, a Palestinian Arab male fired a flare gun at civilian Israelis standing at a hitch-hike post at Tapuah Junction, not far from the city of Ariel. IDF soldiers patrolling the area fired, killing him on the spot. Fortunately the attacker did not manage to fulfill his plan of injuring Israelis, or worse.
|Aftermath of same attack, this morning [Image Source]|
The latest violence has coincided with efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry who is visiting the region, to push forward peace talks and avoid what he said could be a "third Intifada," or Palestinian uprising against Israel. Ten Palestinians have been shot dead in the West Bank by Israeli security forces and three Israelis have been killed since Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking resumed in July following a three-year freeze.Smarter and more politically-minded observers than we may want to draw a line connecting the rise in lethal Palestinian Arab violence with Kerry's well-publicized statements: we certainly would not presume to do so. Here's an example (from "Frustrated Kerry’s peace critique a heavy slap in Netanyahu’s face" in the Times of Israel) of the Secretary of State's contribution in the past 24 hours:
“The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a Third Intifada?...I know there are people who have grown used to this [referring to the current lack of progress] And particularly in Israel. Israel says, ‘Oh, we feel safe today. We have the wall, we’re not in a day-to-day conflict, we’re doing pretty well economically.’ Well, I’ve got news for you [apparently addressing the Israeli public]. Today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or next year’s. Because if we don’t resolve this issue, the Arab world, the Palestinians, neighbors, others, are going to begin again to push in a different way.”There are probably those who see his words of wisdom as constituting a push towards more peace. We're not so sure.