JERUSALEM • A wave of violence that had subsided in recent months has flared up again as four attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank within 24 hours underscored the edgy mood between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli authorities said four Arabs who had tried to attack security officers and civilians with knives and a car were shot and killed in separate assaults on Friday and yesterday, shattering the late-summer calm. A Palestinian woman who was in the car used to ram Israelis was shot and in critical condition, while two Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians were treated for light wounds.
The outbreak of hostility renewed fears of a potentially wider conflict, but there was no public indication that the attacks had been planned together or that they necessarily signalled a sustained escalation. In general, the series of attacks that started nearly a year ago has appeared to be individually motivated rather than the work of a coordinated campaign.
The first assault took place at the iconic Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City in Jerusalem. Around 1pm, according to the authorities, a knife-wielding man rushed border police officers, calling out: "Allahu akbar!" (Arabic for "God is great!") The police shot him to death and later reported discovering another knife on his body.
The man was identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as Saed Amro, 28, a resident of Jordan, according to the Arabic news media. Israeli officials said he had crossed into Israel over the Allenby Bridge the day before.
To the south, Israeli troops near the entrance of Kiryat Arba, an Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron in the West Bank, shot at a car that had tried to run down Israelis, the authorities said. Three were reported hurt.
The gunfire killed the driver, a Palestinian identified as Fares Musa Khdoor, 18, from a nearby village, Bani Naim. His fiancee, identified as Raghd Abdullah Khdoor, 18, was wounded. Israeli news media reported that she was the sister of a woman who rammed her car into a bus stop near Kiryat Arba and was killed less than three months ago.
Israeli forces later imposed a blockade on Bani Naim in response to the attack.
In a third attack, a Palestinian teenager stabbed an Israeli soldier in the face at a checkpoint in Hebron and was then shot to death. The assailant was identified as Muhammad Kayyed al-Rajabi, 15. The soldier was hospitalised with light injuries.
The violence continued yesterday morning with what seemed like almost a repeat incident in the same Hebron area. A Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli soldier during what the authorities called a routine security check and was shot to death.
Other violent episodes on Friday did not lead to deaths but reinforced the tensions.