Palestinians Call for ‘Day of Rage’ as Tensions Escalate


Palestinians called for a “Day of Rage” Tuesday, a day after three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli police in the holy city of Quds (Jerusalem).

Four Israelis and 26 Palestinians, including eight children, have died in 12 days of bloodshed, the worst spell of street violence for years, stirred in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Palestinian groups have called for a “Day of Rage” across the occupied West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem (East al-Quds) on Tuesday and the leaders of the 1948 Palestinian community have called for a commercial strike in their towns and villages, The Daily Star reported on Tuesday.

Two Palestinian youths stabbed two Israelis on the northern edge of Jerusalem, Pisgat Zeev, critically injuring one of them, police and hospital sources said.

The Israeli was critically wounded before police shot and killed one of the Palestinian, while the second was run over by a car.

And as night fell, police said they had shot dead a Palestinian on a bus near the central bus station who had first tried to grab a soldier’s rifle and then succeeded in grabbing the pistol of a police officer attending the scene. The soldier and another passenger were slightly hurt. Police also said a border policeman had shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab him, although the account was disputed by a Palestinian passer-by, who said he had witnessed the incident and seen no knife.

The Palestinians, many of them teenagers, have had no affiliation with activist groups, and the seemingly random nature of the stabbings has made it difficult to predict or prevent them.

The near-daily stabbings have raised speculation that Palestinians could be embarking on another uprising or intifada, reflecting a new generation’s frustrations over their veteran leadership’s failure to achieve statehood in abortive peace talks with Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told parliament that the knife attackers would fail just as suicide bombers had failed a decade ago.

Israeli Police have deployed 2,000 reinforcements in Jerusalem, but Israeli leaders say they have no easy answer to “lone wolf” assailants.

Muslim anger has been stoked by increasing visits made over the past year by Jewish groups and right-wing Israeli lawmakers to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Israel claims it has no intention of allowing any change to the status quo at the compound, which Jews are allowed to visit, but where non-Muslim prayer is banned.