Arab neighbourhoods in Jerusalem are expected to be sealed off and soldiers placed in city centres to support the police amid rising bloodshed and unrest.
Almost two weeks of daily violence, including a spate of attacks by knife-wielding Palestinian teenagers, has left Israelis deeply shaken and fearful of another Palestinian uprising. In the latest attacks, Palestinians used knives, a car, a gun and a meat cleaver to kill and injure Jewish Israelis. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Israel will settle the score with the murderers and those who help them. We will cut the hands of whoever tries to hurt us."
Palestinian leader and former peace negotiator Saeb Erekat blamed the Israelis for the escalation. He said that Israel's 48-year military occupation of the West Bank has spread "a culture of hate and racism that justifies atrocities, including collective punishment and coldblooded executions".
Eight Israelis have been killed and dozens injured in the past two weeks, and at least 28 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis. Israeli authorities say a dozen of the slain Palestinians were attackers; the rest died in clashes with Israeli forces. Israeli and Palestinian leaders accuse each other of incitement, but Palestinian leaders appear to have little control over the actions of the mostly young attackers. In the most serious attack, two Palestinian assailants boarded a bus in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Armon Hanatziv and began shooting and stabbing passengers, Israeli police said. Medics and police reported that two Israelis were killed and 16 wounded, several seriously.
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One of the Palestinians was shot dead at the scene, and the other was wounded and later died.
As an atmosphere of fear and vengeance spread, a young Jewish Israeli stalked an Ikea parking lot in Kiryat Ata, a town in northern Israel, apparently looking for Arabs to attack. He repeatedly stabbed a man who turned out to be Jewish himself. The victim, 22, was moderately wounded.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for police to restrict movement in Palestinian neighbourhoods in mostly Palestinian East Jerusalem. The Israeli Cabinet backed the move as well as the deployment of Israeli soldiers in city centres to support the police. Israeli media reported that of 23 attacks by Palestinians against Israelis in the past two weeks, 18 were carried out by East Jerusalem residents. Israel is to demolish the family homes of Palestinian attackers from East Jerusalem and the West Bank within the week. Normally, such demolitions take a year or longer. The families of Palestinian attackers from East Jerusalem are to be stripped of their Jerusalem residency or Israeli citizenship and be sent to live in the West Bank under the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority.