Israeli crackdown after surge in Palestinian violence

Israel has set up roadblocks in Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, and deployed soldiers in cities across the country, to combat the worst surge of violence in months.

Israeli crackdown after surge in Palestinian violence

Palestinian officials condemned the security measures, the most serious clampdown in the Jerusalem area since a Palestinian uprising a decade ago, as collective punishment.

Israel’s security cabinet had authorised the crackdown hours earlier, in an overnight session, after Palestinians armed with knives and a gun killed three Israelis and wounded several others on Tuesday.

Seven Israelis and 30 Palestinians, including children and assailants, have been killed in two weeks of bloodshed in Israel, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

The violence has been partly triggered by Palestinians’ anger over increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, also revered by Jews as the site of two destroyed Jewish temples.

There is also deep-seated frustration with the failure of years of peace efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood and end Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israeli paramilitary border police blocked an exit at the edge of Jabel Mukabar, an East Jerusalem neighbourhood and home to three Palestinians who carried out deadly attacks against Israelis on Tuesday.

Policemen body-searched Palestinian motorists. Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem carry the same identity papers as Israelis and, unlike brethren in the West Bank, can travel throughout Israel.

Dimitrii Delliani, an official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, said closing entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods was “collective punishment in violation of all international law”.

“(Israeli) cabinet decisions will not stop the intifada (uprising). People of resistance do not fear new security restrictions,” Hussam Badrawn, a spokesman for the militant Hamas group said.

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