Israel Sets up Checkpoints in E Jerusalem
Israel set up checkpoints in Palestinian neighbourhoods of annexed east Jerusalem yesterday as it struggled to stop a wave of attacks that have raised fears of a full-scale uprising.
With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under immense pressure to halt the violence and frustrated Palestinian youths defying attempts to restore calm, police said 300 Israeli soldiers were joining their patrols.
The move to install checkpoints followed a decision by Netanyahu’s security cabinet overnight authorising police to seal off or impose a curfew on parts of Jerusalem.
Netanyahu’s government announced further drastic measures, including easing firearms laws for Israelis and stripping alleged attackers from east Jerusalem of their residency permits.
A wave of mainly stabbing attacks by Palestinians has spread fear in Israel, while a gun-and-knife attack on a Jerusalem bus on Tuesday killed two people and led to outrage among Israelis.
A third Israeli was killed in Jerusalem on Tuesday when a Palestinian attacker rammed his car into pedestrians then exited with a knife, making it the city’s bloodiest day in the current wave of unrest.
All three attackers in the two incidents were from east Jerusalem, and two were shot dead. The upsurge in violence that began on October 1 has led some to warn of the risk of a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising. Seven Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in the attacks.