Woman killed as more attacks target Israelis

Woman killed as more attacks target Israelis
The West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut

Two stabbing attacks have been launched on Israelis, killing a young woman and gravely wounding a soldier.

The woman was killed at a bus stop in the West Bank and the Israeli soldier injured in Tel Aviv, with the attacks the latest in an ongoing wave of Arab violence that has put the country on edge.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a harsh response, saying he will use all means available and consider even tougher steps to stop the unrest.

In a veiled threat to Arab demonstrators in Israel and east Jerusalem, he said attackers should consider moving to the West Bank or Gaza Strip. “Believe me, we will put no difficulties in your path,” he said.

Mr Netanyahu spoke after the soldier was stabbed at a crowded train station by a suspected Palestinian assailant in Tel Aviv, but before the deadly attack outside the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut.

Police said the assailant there stepped out of a car at a bus stop in front of the settlement, then stabbed three people before he was shot by a security guard.

Police said a woman in her mid-20s was killed, while two other people were wounded. The attacker was in serious condition.

In the Tel Aviv attack, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the suspect was from the West Bank city of Nablus, travelling in Israel without a permit and was held immediately after the stabbing.

“He is presently under interrogation,” he said.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been extremely high in recent weeks, following last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip and increasing frictions over a contested Jerusalem holy site.

Palestinian attackers have carried out two deadly attacks in Jerusalem by ramming cars into crowded train stations, while a third assailant attempted to kill a prominent Jewish activist who has pushed for greater Jewish access to the holy site.

The fatal shooting of an Arab Israeli by a policeman early on Saturday in the northern Arab Israeli town of Kfar Kana gave new impetus to the tensions, following the release of a video that appeared to show the man backing away from police when he was shot.

The shooting sparked violent demonstrations in Kfar Kana. The police’s internal investigations department is looking into it to determine whether proper protocol was followed.

Police officials say none of the attacks on Israeli targets appear to be related and that the assailants all acted individually.

The individual nature of the attacks could complicate efforts by authorities to prevent further violence.

Arab citizens make up some 20% of Israel’s population. They enjoy full citizenship but share the ethnicity and culture of the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

They have long complained of discrimination and often identify with Palestinian nationalism, rather than Israeli.

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